Phantom Dawn

Phantom Dawn

Phantom Dawn is the pseudonym of Dublin-born, Vancouver-based, songwriter/ multi-instrumentalist and producer, Matthew Smyth. Smyth’s work to this point has been with the Alternative Rock Band, Motion Picture Sound and solo Ambient releases, under his own name. Smyth recently moved to Vancouver to pursue his artistic journey away from his hometown. 

Inspired by a wide range of artists ranging from The Stone Roses to Tom Waits, Phoebe Bridgers to My Chemical Romance, and Pinegrove to Neutral Milk Hotel. Smyth takes inspiration not just from music but from poetry, film and painting as well as Irish mythology and Catholic iconography. 

Smyth was partially deaf until the age of three. After his Grandmother suggested an operation, he recovered and heard the world in its full for the first time. This was the beginning of his lifelong, intense love of music. Smyth makes sincere, introspective and poetic Indie/ Alternative Rock music from his bedroom by blending 80's UK Alternative music with 2000's Indie Rock and Emo with an undercurrent of Singer-Songwriter Folk. This unique, eclectic mix draws the listener into the melodic, catchy and beautifully dark world of Phantom Dawn. 

Poetry forms the basis of Phantom Dawn lyrics. Songs explore what Matthew refers to as his ‘’shadow-self’’. By interrogating the darkest aspects of oneself; mental illness, fear, regret, loss, grief and self doubt, Matthew believes you can overcome these issues to learn self-love and become something beautiful. Hence the name, Phantom Dawn

" I tend to write to explore the parts of myself that terrify me. I try to shine a light on a darkness that has always been there. If you can see and hold these aspects of yourself, you can learn to accept yourself as a fallible human being, deserving of love. This means, there’s always care and hope in the songs somewhere. Some lyrics are deeply personal and confessional as a result. At the same time, I love the abstraction you find in David Lynch’s work, or impressionists like Claude Monet. The ambiguity and the allusions make the work much more meaningful, so I try to take a little bit of that into my stuff. "

Memento is the first of many singles to be released in 2024, the next in March and April respectively. A trend which will continue throughout 2024, with each track leaning into its own aspect of the Phantom Dawn sound.

Phantom Dawn

Photography by Ruby McKinnon

Phantom Dawn - Memento - Press Release 

Release 16th February, 2024 

Memento is the debut single from Vancouver based, Irish artist Phantom Dawn. Phantom Dawn is the solo project of singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, Matthew Smyth. Memento sees Phantom Dawn draw on 1980’s British Alternative/ Indie rock influences as well as Dream-Pop and Shoegaze to create a lush, shimmering, upbeat, yet melancholic sound, that wouldn’t sound out of place in the closing scene of an early 2000’s coming of age Indie film. Memento is a song about little moments and carrying them with you in your faded memory. A sentiment reflected by its sound.

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One comment on “Phantom Dawn”

  1. Hi, Just had a listen to your stuff.. Very Impressive, Really Enjoyed..Looking forward to hearing more..Keep it going...Paul...

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