Dan Matz moved from the humid state of Florida (Tampa) to the not-much-less-humid state of Texas (Austin) in 1995. Shortly thereafter, he and a few friends formed a band called WINDSOR FOR THE DERBY. They went on to release critically acclaimed records on King Coffee’s Trance Syndicate and Michael Gira’s Young God Records and they were compared to everything from NICK DRAKE to AUTHECHRE to BRIAN ENO. They also toured the U.S. and Europe with peers such as BEHEAD and SWANS.
WINDSOR became a long distance project as Matz moved to Brooklyn. Eventually, amid rumours of WINDSOR’s break up (no, they have not), he began experimenting with what would become THE BIRDWATCHER. Matz began playing live shows in New York and the Northeast, sometimes with a full band (with members from JETS TO BRAZIL and HOME), sometimes solo, to exercise these experiments.
Although he has worked with fellow Florida ex-pats HOME and the aforementioned Michael Gira. ‘The Darkest Hour is Just Before Dawn’ is Matz’s first full-length foray into solo territory. It was mostly recorded at Matz’s Hope Union Studio in his Brooklyn home, which allows for its intimacy. THE BIRDWATCHER is much more NEIL YOUNG than NICK DRAKE. More SYD BARRET than BRIAN ENO. The avant-rock elements of WINDSOR FOR THE DERBY have given way to barren, amorphous pop. ‘The Darkest Hour’ is the first instalment in a trilogy reflecting upon the morning, the afternoon and the evening.