1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

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Turn On You – Matthew van der Want

Turn On You – Matthew van der Want

Turn On You – Matthew van der Want

‘Turn On You’ was Matthew van der Want’s debut album and the title track opened the album. And if this was your introduction to Mr van der Want, it’s not a bad one to start with. It has a sort of REM sound going on, which sounds uplifting and melancholic at the same time. It’s pop, but not pop. It’s rock, but not rock.

The song comes from that period in South African music where the big bands were no longer looking to local sounds like eVoid, Hotline and such like did in the 80’s, but were looking to the rock and grunge sounds coming out of the US. Bands such as Counting Crows, Hootie and the Blowfish and the Spin Doctors come to mind when listening to ‘Turn On You’.

But there is a dark side to the lyrics which talk of ‘rummaging through your private things’ and which go on to say ‘I’m not sure what’s wrong with me’ and ‘I turn you on, I turn on you’. Given van der Want’s history, its not too difficult to see why he is insecure. He’s had a tough life and, from what I read somewhere, was living in a tent at some stage. However, the boy come good and produced some seriously good music once he started recording. He would go on to make even more polished and probably more immediate music alongside Chris Letcher, but this track marked him as someone to watch.

Where to find it:
Turn On You – Matthew van der Want, Tic Tic Bang records



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