Three Chords debutant but by no means a stranger to country music, singer-songwriter and radio host Matt Spracklen delivers a haunting retelling of his ten-year-old Bad Dream on 3rd September.
Singer-songwriter Matt Spracklen is a radio presenter on UK country radio station, Absolute Radio Country. He studied music at both Trevecca and Belmont Universities in Nashville, TN and toured with bands throughout Europe appearing on MTV, BBC Radio 1 and featured in magazines such as Kerrang! and Rocksound. He is a former professional photographer and has travelled with international artists including Dave Stewart, Nikki Sixx and Papa Roach. Matt is also a live host and compere at festivals such as Isle Of Wight, Nashville Meets London and The British Country Music Festival as well as hosting and interviewing the bands for Stabal Music.
Spracklen – who cut his teeth as a guitarist in a punk rock band – wrote and released Bad Dream over a decade ago. Now a retrospective lament, the single provides an insight into some of Spracklen’s darker days, drawing inspiration from a ‘misspent youth’ and exploring themes of abandonment throughout. Post-lockdown and keenly aware of the parallels between those emotions and the mental health struggles suffered by many today, Spracklen made the decision to re-record the song – just the way it was written.
“I wrote Bad Dream one morning after waking up and realising a cliche. I hadn’t just had a bad dream – I was in one. I was reliving a misspent youth to deal with a breakup and had a hazy lack of direction. (…) I was writing songs to process it all.”
The warm tone of Spracklen’s voice layered over the delicate guitar picking is where Spracklen’s roots shine through most. Country and Americana influence shows up in the form of pedal steel, flowing throughout and offering a glimmer of hope amid the haunting, mournful melody. “I guess it’s a punk song but it’s country music, right? This is how I wrote it,” Spracklen explains. “Some may call it Americana. Maybe I’ll just call it Punktry.”
Bad Dream was recorded, produced, and mixed at Summerland Studio and Big Fig Studio by Lewis Fowler, Jake Stanton, and Michael Clancy. Pedal steel was provided by Joe Harvey White.