In the summer of 2016, M.T. Hadley released “Janet”, a song written a year after the death of his mother. Well over three years later, Hadley today follows up with “Rattle”, a beautiful left-field pop song written when Hadley was twenty. The track has Hadley imagining he is singing an existential lullaby to a newborn baby, telling them just how terrible life will be. “You will feel nothing but heartache” he sings, “you will see nothing but mistakes / As tragedy blooms.” On the page it’s dark, but Hadley’s falsetto set over shimmering keys suggest differently. “Rattle” is now out on Hadley’s own label Empty, with more new music to follow shortly.
Hadley is influenced by classic songwriters like Joan Armatrading, Scott Walker and Todd Rundgren. His own style, praised for its idiosyncrasy, has led to his writing collaborations with artists as diverse as Nilüfer Yanya, Tobias Jesso Jr, Metronomy along with members of A.K. Paul & Jai Paul’s Paul Institute, with whom he performed “Janet” live in July at London’s Laylow venue as part of the label’s residency there.
Hadley’s thoughtful introspection and candid lyricism shines light on the darker parts of life, encouraging us to accept the duality of everything. By finding inspiration in the void Hadley has arrived with an air of timelessness.