Former member of Noah and the Whale, Matt Owens has drawn inspiration from his many nights spent in Cork for his new track 'McCurtain Street', which looks at the issue of homelessness in the city.
After his success with Noah and the Whale, Matt formed a rock band known as Little Mammoths. The band toured every month between 2014 and 2015, with numerous pit-stops in Cork along the way.
From frequenting Cork pubs and staying at Bru Hostel, Matt became familiar with some of the homeless people in the area and the seeds were sown for his new song, ‘MacCurtain Street.’
“While we were there, a lot of the homeless guys would come into the bar we were playing in or we’d get chatting to people, as you do in Ireland. So, we just got to see some familiar faces,” he said.
“It’s part of the song- we were standing outside of the Bru one day drinking cans and this guy came up to us asking for money and a beer and you kind of start chatting music and we gave him a can and it just kind of demystified things.
“Having something to break bread over, like music …. it’s that way in to start hearing about their stories,” he said.
Though the initial concept began many years ago, the murder of a homeless man and former chef, Timmy Hourihane, prompted Matt to pursue the idea of a song about homelessness and with another trip to MacCurtain Street, the track was created.
“We like to think that were quite different, and people kind of put themselves in boxes but I think for me, it highlights that we don’t know what’s around the corner and that we're not that different,” said Matt, speaking on homelessness in Cork.
‘MacCurtain Street’ is part of Matt Owen’s new album Scorched Earths, which is available now on Spotify.
“I’m really proud of the song and it’s got that slightly Irish vibe. It’s something that Jimmy - my drummer – and I could image us playing on acoustic guitar and a snare in the corner of Sin É or something,” added Matt.