Windmill – Tokyo Moon
Windmill – Tokyo Moon
‘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
Tokyo Moon is the latest single from Windmill, the London-based artist who, through the majesty of his critically acclaimed debut album, Puddle City Racing Lights, is already being described as the British answer to Arcade Fire. Possessed of a voice that sounds like Neil Young on a helium comedown, Matthew ‘Windmill’ Dillon produces songs that swell with bruised emotions, fragile melodies and bombastic orchestration.
Tokyo Moon is a fundamental piece of the Windmill puzzle, being one of two tracks on the demo that got him signed, “Tokyo Moon signifies the start of this time in my life,” says Dillon. “It started out as an accident song. I was hanging out with someone and I was playing piano and singing out the problem pages in her magazine. In between singing the problem and the answer, I was going, ‘The results were thus!’ The next day I called in sick to work so I could do some recording. I started with the simple piano riff, some bombastic drums and sang about an ambition to go to Japan and about the differences in life between being single and being in a relationship.”
If Tokyo Moon was the song that drew Dillon to the attention of the music world, it was just the tip of the iceberg. A prolific writer and producer of music, Dillon worked in secret for years, making music that would only be heard by close friends. He produced album after album, each a complete package with a unique sleeve, and all conceived without a thought for record companies, radio play or financial remuneration. 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.
A talent like Dillon’s couldn’t be confined for too long, and in 2006, after some escaped demos built up a solid word of mouth buzz, Dillon was given the opportunity to record his debut album and throw himself even deeper into his music. New B-side Shutters is one of the results.
“At the start of this year, as Windmill was getting busy, I moved my things out to my dad’s house in the country,” says Dillon. “It was a great place to lock myself away and write and record song after song. ‘Shutters’ was one of them. It’s a simple song of regretting ending things badly. I felt very little pressure recording the song as the album was complete, so it was fun to get back together with [producer] Tom Knott and hammer out one last song whilst eating sandwiches and maize snacks.”
Since releasing Puddle City Racing Lights in May 2007, Dillon has been lured from the bedroom to the road, taking Windmill out as a full, touring band and sharing bills with Patrick Watson and The National. Recently, he’s been taking his show around Europe.
“When you have created an incredibly insular life of sitting in a room recording songs that you never wanted anyone to hear, you fantasise about what might happen if your demos got picked up. The last 2 years have seen me exceed my fantasies of what I could achieve,” says Dillon. “Touring Europe you find that people come to see the show and understand it’s your art. That’s the best thing. Next, I’d like to take Windmill to its spiritual, musical home – America – and mix with some more of the people that are influencing me. It’s all about continuing to put my feet out in the world.”