"The song resembles what might happen if Joanna Newsom decided to reinvent Lana Del Rey’s “Video Games,” and it emanates a skewed beauty that proves music does not require gargantuan hooks to deeply contagious." -- Stereogum
In 2009, before Friend Roulette had formed, its members were all friends with a singer from Houston named Matt Sheffer. Matt had the most beautiful, powerful voice- he wasn't much for alcohol, but when he felt like it he’d go to karaoke bars to hustle for free drinks. More impressive than his voice though, was his compositional brilliance. He would spend days at a time crashing on his own couch (he had a bedroom but seldom used it), recording songs on Garageband using the built-in microphone in his laptop, leaving the apartment only to buy diet coke from the gas station. Every so often he’d ask someone if they’d like to hear something he was working on. Without fail, he would share a masterpiece that, despite the crude recording technology used, sounded like an instant, radio-ready classic.
Matt’s greatest adversary, however, was his own brain. Shortly after creating these wonderful songs, he would inevitably begin to doubt whether they were any good at all. He would disavow entire albums of material, removing them from his myspace page, and start the entire process over from the beginning. Eventually, Matt packed up and left Brooklyn for Austin, TX. The slower pace of Austin seems to be better for his creative hygiene, and he has since formed an up-and-coming band there called Zettajoule. In 2016, however, Friend Roulette decided that they had a responsibility to record some of his old songs in an act of preservation. After rearranging the material for their own instrumentation and adding some ensemble elements of their own, they yielded “The Matt Sheffer Songbook, Vol 1.” available on Pretty Purgatory records, a loving tribute to a strange, talented friend.