Words by Ryan Haughey
What can you do with 85 cents? According to Matt Foster, not too much.
A suburban neighbourhood sets the scene for Foster’s music video for the debut single, “Magic”. A palm muted guitar lick is accompanied by sporadic drumming as a white minivan pulls up to the curb. The moustachio’d driver gets out and saunters up the front steps to a house, keys drawn. However, none of these keys seem to work.
Foster’s low, crooning voice expresses unmet assumptions: “I thought we were the moon”. Howling alongside a growling flute, Foster’s frustration is mimicked in the grimace of the key-holder, still trying to unlock the front door. Abetted by a smooth woodwind ensemble, the chorus is reminiscent of a smokey, basement jazz club, and the soft falsetto melody of the line, “I don’t feel good” places Foster as the slick but afflicted singer of the band.
With each key that doesn’t fit, our flustered key-holder becomes more and more agitated. Inside, a pot of water is transitioning from a simmer to a boil. As tension rises on the other side of the door, so rises hot steam from the pot.
Foster sings “I feel like 85 cents.” Chump change. A great simile for – quite plainly – feeling like crap. We never get inside the house to take the pot off the element, but this anti-resolution captures the grievances Matt foster expresses in “Magic”.