Windmill – Fit
‘Although his music is timeless and graceful, 26-year-old Matthew Thomas Dillon is in thrall to modern American indie. The boy from Buckinghamshire treads the same ground as Mercury Rev and Arcade Fire, but his style is utterly his own. High, pained vocals curdle the cosy piano melodies that propel each song and shatter any idea of Dillon as a safe singer-songwriter.’ 4/5 The Guardian
‘an impressive album… Think Mercury Rev making a break up album’ 4/5 The Independent
‘…his touching, tender, fragile piano-led songs are subtly beautiful and hugely addictive’ 4/5 The Sunday Telegraph
Fit is the latest single from Windmill, the Buckinghamshire-based artist who, through the majesty of his debut album, Puddle City Racing Lights, is already being described as the British answer to Arcade Fire. Possessed of a voice like Neil Young on a helium comedown, Windmill’s songs swell with bruised emotions, fragile melodies and bombastic orchestration. Beginning with a sting of brass, Fit finds Windmill pleading, “Please pull your weight,” over the ubiquitous piano, jagged guitars and cacophonous drums.
Accompanying the single is a striking video, available for your viewing pleasure on Youtube now. Directed by Rupert Noble, it blends intimate footage of Windmill – aka 26-year old Matthew Thomas Dillon – with footage of the song’s protagonist running, Rocky-style, through the streets of London.
The song’s key, closing line, “I don’t fit in,” is a telling sentiment from an artist who always wears his heart on his sleeve. Windmill is an outsider, his music having more in common with the West Coast US indie scene than his roots in suburban Newport Pagnell. If there’s a sense of alienation in his music, it’s with good reason – he’s been quietly producing it for years in virtual seclusion.
Dillon began making music as a teenager, begging his parents to buy him a £140 four-track recorder. Using that simple set-up, he recorded prolifically but secretly, amassing thousands of songs and producing album after album – sleeves and all – but distributing them only among his close friends. Recording was a compulsion – he’d lock himself in his room for hours, bed covered with keyboards, missing university lectures for the sake of his art.
But a talent like Dillon’s couldn’t be confined for too long, and in 2006, after some escaped demos built up to a solid word of mouth buzz, Dillon was given the opportunity to record his debut album proper with real pianos, real drums and real strings. Co-producer Tom Knott became the first person ever to collaborate with Dillon on his music, while musicians from The Earlies fleshed out the sound.
Recently, Dillon’s also been coaxed onto the live circuit, where he recreates the highs and lows of Puddle City Racing Lights with a 5-piece band.