Al Matcott Dives Deep Into Themes Behind Poignant Debut Album ‘Summer’s Coming’

7 November 2023 | 10:00 am | Al Matcott

The Naarm/Melbourne artist reflects on his debut album, its hard-hitting focus track, and whether he’d want to have children in the face of the climate crisis.

Al Matcott

Al Matcott (Credit: McLean Stephenson)

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In this exclusive essay for, Naarm/Melbourne artist Al Matcott unpacks the deep, personal themes behind his just-released debut album, Summer’s Coming, expounds on the hard-hitting focus track Everyone’s Gonna Let You Down, and reflects on whether he’d want to have children in the face of the climate crisis.

Everyone’s Gonna Let You Down came from thinking about having kids and considering what the future climate looks like. I have friends who are having kids, but others who are choosing not to on account of global warming. I remember having one chat where a friend questioned whether we actually owe anything to future generations. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. 

I suppose as they’re future humans, we owe it not to knowingly lead to their suffering. For a lot of us and for me personally, it came down to whether both partners wanted kids. Like if my partner didn’t want kids on account of not wanting them to grow up living in some Mad Max / Waterworld future, I’d support that. But if we both want to have kids, we’ll do it. 

I work in renewable energy, and every day there is a new report about how much worse it is than we're told, how governments aren't up to it, and how the fossil fuel industry are making record profits off of people's deaths.

Sometimes all this shit gets the better of me and I turn into a despairing mess. My partner’s from the west coast of Canada. She says over there they all talk about how the big earthquake is coming which will wipe Vancouver off the map. They say the same thing in LA and San Francisco. And maybe they’re right, but at a certain point you have to choose to either live your life, or become a prepper. 

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Climate anxiety is the main theme running through the album. It starts with Everyone’s Gonna Let You Down’ The heaviest part of the album is Dead Already, my ode to fossil fuels right in the middle. And the album ends with Summer’s Coming, which is from the perspective of Mother Earth. 

I think the theme of Mother Earth led me into some real Arts student shit. Like the earth being feminine, global warming being a consequence of modernity which is all hierarchy and category (masculine).

Most of my songs are narratives which have subjects or are sung from a character’s perspective. Which lead to the album having different protagonists (a witch in A Woman’s Work Is Never Done, Mother Earth in Summer’s Coming) and antagonists (social media in Four Walls, my own mind in If I Can’t Make You Mine).

Some of the original ideas for these songs were from a few years ago. I didn’t know whether I’d want to release them under my own name or start a new band because the songs were so heavy. Most of my other songs are more country. But over time everything started sounding cohesive, especially with my band who are very Rock. Eventually the whole album started forming in my head. A few of the tracks weren’t finished until Brendan (West, bass), Miranda (Holt, drums) and Steve (McLennan, guitar) went into the studio.

I think in all my songs I try to have at least one hook, and I seem to keep writing hooks with dark or slightly cooked lyrics. Often the music is brighter, but for this album I just had to go all in on getting my climate anxiety out. So there wasn’t a lot of contrasting light to go along with it. Which in the end made everything sound tougher. I was using a working title, Facing Armageddon With A Haunted Leather Jacket.

Next time I might try some love songs.



Friday November 10 – Wadawurrung/Torquay, Bird Rock
Saturday November 11 – Kaurna/Adelaide, The Golden Wattle
Friday November 17 – Dharawal/Port Kembla, The Servo
Saturday November 18 – Eora/Sydney, Vic On The Park
Friday November 24 – Yorta Yorta Country/Beechworth, Tanswell Hotel
Thursday November 30 – Naarm/Melbourne, Northcote Social Club
Friday December 1 – Taungurung Country/Kyneton, Major Tom's
Saturday February 17 – Wadawurrung/Geelong, Tent Pole Music Festival