Wendy Matthews has a reputation as an artist par excellence with a sublime, expressive voice that never fails to move those who hear it.
Both acoustically and physically, Wendy Matthews moves with an enviable minimalism. Her music is an unhurried journey of clean melodies, infectious energy and simple grace. In an age when grunge is thought to be hip and cynicism an attribute, Wendy has proven that commitment to beauty is still not only valid but applauded by the public ear.
This is exemplified by the reality that Wendy’s music is now in more than 1 million homes in Australia – all her albums to date have multi-platinum status.
Wendy has an immense talent and capacity to capture and define a diverse range of styles in her music. She takes songs from every genre and makes them her own, from jazz to blues, from rock to gospel, from soul to outright infectious pop and then, of course, there are the beautiful ballads.
Wendy is adept at reaching both frenetic youth and mature audiences alike. If older ears are captured by her soul and unfazed class, a more cynical youth is convinced by her disarming ease of delivery, wooed by a voice of stunning emotive capacity yet void of sentimentality.
This outstanding capability has ensured the strength of her following – not only with the public but also the music industry. To date Wendy has won seven ARIAS – the all time record.
Simply put, Wendy Matthews has a reputation for having one of the finest voices ever. As Midnight Oil frontman, Peter Garrett, says when he eloquently describes her abilities: “Wendy’s voice is to the vocal chords what the Daintree is to the wilderness”.
Such observations point to Wendy’s uncanny ability to choose great songs and interpret them with an individual polish hitherto unknown in this country.
Wendy has performed at some of the most prestigious musical events. From the Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, live TV specials in Asia, MIDEM in Cannes, to performing in front of over 40,000 people on the steps of the Sydney Opera House. Her tours play to full houses in both regional and capital city theatres.
Born in Montreal Canada, Wendy joined her first band and left home as a teenager, busking her way across the USA to Los Angeles where she met Glenn Shorrock who invited her to tour with him in Australia in 1982.
Wendy immediately became an in-demand session singer, appearing on many commercial jingles and backing vocals for the likes of The Models “Out of Mind Out of Sight” and became a semi-permanent member of the band. She also sang on albums by Jimmy Barnes, Tim Finn, Richard Clapton and Icehouse.
In 1987, Wendy collaborated with Kate Ceberano on the ABC-TV soundtrack for the series ‘Stringer’. ‘You’ve Always Got the Blues’ was released the next year reaching the Top 5 national charts. She then contributed to the Rockmelons and Peter Blakeley’s respective albums. She helped form Absent Friends and sang on the number one hit “I Don’t Wanna Be With Nobody But You” and the album “Here’s Looking Up Your Address”.
After touring with Absent Friends, Wendy went into the studio to record her solo debut. The album “Émigré” (Double Platinum) spawned the hits “Token Angels”, “Lets Kiss” and “Woman’s Gotta Have It” and earned Wendy the Best Female Artist and Best Debut Single (for ‘Token Angels’) at the 1990 ARIA Awards. Wendy was also voted Best Female Singer in the 1990 Rolling Stone Reader’s Poll.
This was followed up by the Triple Platinum album “Lily” with the mega hit “ “The Day You Went Away” plus “If Only I Could” and Friday’s Child”,
In 1992 Wendy picked up the ARIA for Best Female Artist and Best Single and again in 1993 Best Female Artist. “The Day You Went Away” was the ‘highest selling single’ of 1993 and the ‘single of the year’.
Wendy then followed up with another two studio albums “The Witness Tree” and “Ghosts” including the hits “Love Will Keep Me Alive”, “Standing Strong”, “Then I Walked away”. In 1999 to cap off an already outstanding career, Wendy released her first “Best Of….Stepping Stones” which not only included her former hits but also “Nobody But You” the massive hit from Absent Friends.
Not resting on her laurels, in 2001 Wendy released “Beautiful View” featuring the hauntingly beautiful title track and club favorite “Like the Sun”.
2004 saw the release of the mixed-up, chilled-out “Café Naturale” an eclectic suite of songs which immediately evoke a sense of familiarity. The Tropfest winning film “Lamb” by Emma Freeman features as the highly acclaimed video clip to the popular “All I Need”.
There are very few artists in Australia that can cite Wendy’s credentials, seven arias, a massive 19 singles, 7 top selling albums and most of all the love of her fans.
Wendy has recently completed her first independent record on her own "Barking Bear" record label. "She" is a personal collection of favorite songs by women who have inspired her over the years. As she puts it "songs that have made the singer, women who have made the woman". Recorded live in a studio room together over three days with her long standing band and a few specialty players, Matthews considers it a journey through her formative years, with songs by Bonnie Raitt, Aretha Franklin, EmmyLou Harris and Chrissie Hynde and fellow native Canadians Joni Mitchell, Buffy St Marie and Jane Siberry to name a few.
"Fallen Angels" is the first song to radio with the album "She" due for release in January 2009.
When she’s not writing, recording or touring extensively, Wendy and her beloved dog Bear, enjoy the beauty of the Northern NSW coast where she is building a hand crafted home.
|You’ve Always Got the Blues (with Kate Ceberano) || 1988 |
|Absent Friends “Here’s Looking Up Your Address”||1989|
|The Way It Has To Be (live album) ||1991|
|The Witness Tree ||1994|
|Stepping Stones….The Best of Wendy Matthews||1999|
|Café Naturale ||2004|
|The Essential Wendy Matthews ||2007|
| AWARDS|| |
|Single of the Year “Absent Friends “Nobody But You” ||1991 WINNER |
|Highest Selling Single “The Day You Went Away”||1992 WINNER|
|Single of the Year “The Day You Went Away”||1992 WINNER|
|Best Female Artist “Lily” ||1993 WINNER|
|Album of the Year “Lily” ||1993 (nominee)|
|Best Female Artist “Friday’s Child” ||1994 WINNER|
|Best Adult Contemporary Album “The Witness Tree” ||1995 (nominee)|
|Best Female Artist “Then I Walked Away” ||1997 (nominee)|
|Engineer of the Year “Ghosts”||1998 (nominee)|
|Best Adult Contemporary Album “Ghosts” ||1998 (nominee)|
|Best Adult Contemporary Album “Beautiful View” ||2001 (nominee)|