Cincinnati based musician and singer-songwriter Matt Mooney has been working on a new musical project since the demise of his most recent band, the Koala Fires last August. He’s now calling himself Royal Holland, and along with the name change comes a dramatic shift from the indie rock roots from which he was cultivated.
“The new project is more ethereal and evocative. More about the songs and lyricism than the projects I’ve curated in the past” says Mooney. The current demos available on the Royal Holland social networks attest to this progressive direction. They are self-described “Dreamy Synth-Folk.” The music is subdued and peaceful, the vocals nigh whispered and full of emotional currency.
With the new project also come new challenges. Having been in bands of four or more for the past decade, Mooney is now a solo act, and he’s been working hard at how to best convey the new material with this reduced head count. Mooney recalls “I’ve played a lot of Singer-Songwriter nights since the break-up of Koala Fires, The Southgate House Revival on a Monday is like a second home to me. Most recently I toured down to Nashville and North Carolina, trying to refine what it means to really deliver a song. There’s an intimate connection when you’re singing with just an acoustic guitar 5 feet away from a complete stranger. It can go horribly wrong, but it can also be magical. That magic is what I’m chasing”
Mooney will debut the first full production Royal Holland set on Wednesday May 28th at the Southgate House Revival during the final night of Margaret Darling’s stint as their May artist in residence. The stage show has culminated into a diverse set of songs set to backing tracks which are a mixture of live recordings Mooney has made and also sequenced synth parts. “I’m calling the new style synth-folk, because you never know if one song will have a driving dance beat with me playing an accordion overtop, or just a harmonica and an acoustic guitar with a gentle vocal.” Mooney states about the new set “There will also be an accompanying video projection, which should help anyone with a short attention span.”