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After more than a decade of writing and performing with indie rock band, The Tins, Mike Santillo is creating music under a new moniker. Primarily a recording project, Matches Laces combines electronic and natural elements, including moody sci-fi synths, dark acoustic guitar, retro drum machines, field recording samples and layered vocal harmonies to create a mix of somber and upbeat pop-leaning songs. In an interview with 1120 Press, Santillo says, "everything I’m writing, I kind of write and record as I write. The songs kind of write themselves as I’m recording and adding layers."

 

These recorded layers have come together to form an 8 song EP. In the self-titled debut, Santillo explores heart break by examining past relationship dynamics, contemplates the finite nature of existence while resolving to focus on the love there is in the moment, and tracks time just existing in mundanity, "sitting down by the water to pass the time away," and "taking stills and hiding out." No stranger to the recording process, for the past 7 years, Santillo has co-owned and operated Mammoth Recording Studio in his home town of Buffalo, NY. Santillo adds that, "Being familiar with and having access to the studio has allowed me to take my time with these songs, and be able to open up the files and get to work in short notice, when I'm inspired, or when I just have the time between other tasks."

 

The name Matches Laces, is lifted from the shouts of a peddler in a transitory scene from horror anthology, "From Beyond the Grave." No more than a sales pitch, "Matches! Laces! Matches! Laces!" A character repeats the simple yet essential, staple items for sale. "And in a way, that's what this project is," says Santillo. "These songs are small, often short phrases of expression about everyday things, capturing mundane, simple thoughts, not always fully fleshed out, but passing phrases of story and melody, capturing a mood. I try not to overthink it, and when I've said all there is to say, the song ends, if sometimes abrupt and unceremoniously." Passing thoughts, little excerpts. Matches, Laces, the everyday.

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