Since he was 14, Australian singer songwriter, Matt Corby has been a bit of a manic gypsy. But a couple of years ago, he made a radical change. He bought a ranch, got a dog, and had a baby. It’s a lifestyle that looks good on Corby, and it radiates through his new album, Rainbow Valley.
"There’s a lot less self loathing coming through," Corby laughs.
"I think I worked out how to be happy through it and not be so critical of myself."
Rainbow Valley is a dreamy collection of songs written by an artist who seems, indeed happy.
It’s a far cry from his last offering, Telluric, which was released after Corby scrapped an entire album.
"I made a lot of serious music. Just me being too serious about it.. and it came out that way in the past."
"I wanted to have fun with this one."
Corby credits his new sound, to a new life. He recently bought a ranch called Rainbow Valley in New South Wales. It was owned by a "mad horticulturist" who sold it to Corby and his young family, over buyers who had offered him much more for it.
"They were seeing it as an investment. I wanted to live there, I was going to make my music there. Without me making that choice, and moving out there and having the time to nut this record out, it wouldn’t exist."
Corby’s new work was created within the lush sanctuary of Rainbow Valley. And so it was only appropriate that it be named after his first proper home in more than a decade.
"I need to get my shit right there. Making my relationship with my partner good, being a good dad, being good to the people living around me. If a tree falls over on the road, getting my chainsaw out and getting rid of it. I’ve never had that before. That place means a lot to me."
The record was written for his son, Hughy, who is now a year and a half. It's a series a lessons that he hopes to teach him one day.
"I wanted it to be something he could be proud of in 20 years time."
"The whole album is based around setting aside your own personal shit for the greater good of your family, your community, your city, your planet. That’s the philosophical conversation I can’t wait to have with Hughy."
Corby played every instrument on the album. Partly because it was easier to lay down what was in his head, himself, partly, he admits, because he’s a perfectionist.
Family time, now hugely important for the new dad – he’s planning a caravan trip when he’s done with his tour. That means leaving home once again, but it seems the new Matt Corby no longer needs to be in Rainbow Valley, to relish in paradise.
Matt Corby is performing at the Civic in Auckland tonight, before moving on to Wellington on Saturday and Christchurch on Sunday.