- 02 Dec 21
The recent A New Local Hero award winner, real name Matthew Harris, has released the captivating follow up to 'YOU KNOW'.
Breakthrough 21-year-old talent Chameleon has revealed his next offering in the form of 'Are You Still?' - premiered below by Hot Press ahead of its Friday release.
Having established himself as a remarkable force in Irish music through his collaborations with Malaki, Matthew Harris (under his Chameleon moniker) has since stepped into the spotlight as an eclectic solo act.
Drawing influence from the likes of James Blake, Brockhampton and Arlo Parks, the Dublin-based artist and producer released collaborative single ‘You Know’ alongside Lucy McWilliams earlier this year.
Matthew’s genre-bending production and expressive voice synthesises the immediacy and excitement of the aforementioned acts in a fresh, captivating way. A self-taught musician and producer, Chameleon creates all of his music himself from his home in Dublin. His production style is eclectic, allowing him to blend hip-hop and pop with funk and R&B with ease. Malaki and Lucy McWilliams’ 'Fair Play', Kelly Thornton’s 'Magick and McWilliams' 'Runaway' and 'You Know' all have his mark.
2021 saw Harris choose the moniker Chameleon to represent the assimilative nature of his role as a producer.
Having just been crowned victorious in Ireland’s 'A New Local Hero' competition, Matthew’s status in the Irish music scene is growing fast. Chameleon has also received enormous support from radio and Spotify playlisting.
'Are You Still?' acts as the perfect way to round out the year for the multi-talented act. Initially intended to be a sun-soaked summer release, Matthew felt the meaning of the song evolve during the process of writing. The juxtaposition of melancholic, introspective lyricism with upbeat, soulful grooves began to sit naturally in the winter environment that was starting to close in.
Spoken word sentences are interspersed in between a soulful backing beat and warm instrumentation. Layered, textured vocals combine for a richness that stands out from the crowd. Speaking to the subject within the song, Matthew begs for a second chance at the relationship, denying the ending that clearly faces him.
"I thought we had something real/I let go of so much to feel/now I've been standing in the basement of my fears/I've been waiting for this for years/tell me what I need to hear, he croons.
The track's slow and careful process plagued Chameleon for months.
“The song took longer to perfect than anything else I’ve made," Matthew tells Hot Press. "I obsessed over it for months, recording stacks on stacks of vocals and bringing in string players. I got to record a friend of mine, Killian White, who’s one of the leading cellists in Ireland and we came up with an incredible arrangement, helping to complete the song.”
The track maps out the moments preceding a painful break-up, two people struggling to communicate in a relationship, and dealing with feelings of isolation and growing apart.
“I’m really interested in situations with no right answers – just grey areas. There’s so many grey areas in our personal lives and we have to be able to find a way to live in them comfortably. We’re all just doing our best and forgiveness of each other and ourselves is extremely important."
Experimenting with funk, jazz, alternative, and even trap; Chameleon is rearing to go in 2022. In another’s hands, it might muddle the ethos of the whole operation, but Harris manages to keep his melodies piercingly on message. He's without a doubt one to watch for next year.
Listen to the genre-bending 'Are You Still?' below:
Cover art by Louis O’Sullivan