Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Matthew Barber grew up in Toronto on oldies records and Top 40 radio. By high school, he was a classic rock freak, and had embraced indie music by the time he reached college. It was around this time that he started fueling his influences into some furious four-tracking. By the early 2000s, Barber was living in Hamilton, Ontario, where he bought graduate-school coffee with money from local solo gigs. In June 2002 he self-released his debut LP, Means & Ends; it showcased a sound somewhere between Elvis Costello and Spoon. The record caught the ear of Toronto indie Paper Bag, which soon reissued it with new cover art. Barber supported the album with a series of localized tours, often featuring bass, drums, and violin in addition to his own guitar and vocals.