VANT, also known as Mattie Vant, is an alternative music artivist (activism carried out through art, specifically music) hailing from ex-coal mining small town Seaham, in North East England. With a band, Vant has toured extensively, playing at music festivals such as Lollapalooza and supporting artists including Royal Blood, The Bohicas, and Hinds. As a solo artist over the last few years, Vant has put out several powerful releases, the most recent being his new single "In the Dark Times." He also hosts his own podcast, Dumb Narrator, in which he talks about his favorite artists and new music, speaks with special guests, and jokes around with lighthearted and comical segments such as "Would You Rather?".
Fans of Royal Blood and the Pixies will love VANT, which draws influence from a multitude of genres and legendary artists to create art with an impact. As written by Warner Chappell Music, VANT "write[s] music to stir the mind as well as the heart."
The project stems from Vant's frustration with our broken world. His songs bring awareness to issues that are not usually mentioned in modern pop music.
"Birth Certificate," which was released in 2017 on VANT album DUMB BLOOD, was inspired by the expiration of Vant's girlfriend's visa; she was forced to leave the United Kingdom. "Birth Certificate" reflects the desire for a borderless world, and is sung by an artist who emphasizes that we are all from the same Planet Earth.
Vant revealed that new single "In the Dark Times" "was written in 2019 and uses a lyrical interpolation of a 1938 poem of the same name by Bertolt Brecht. In many ways, it became the start point for my next record and therefore seems like the logical place to start this time around." He first discovered the poem after reading an interview with Jonathon Glazer, a British director, which cited the poem as the influence for his 2019 short film, The Fall.
"In the Dark Times" is the precursor to Vant's upcoming album In the Dark Times, and highlights the artist's immense talent as a songwriter, performer, and producer. "In response to the pandemic, I challenged myself to write, perform and produce an album entirely on my own," Vant shared. "In many ways, this is my most personal record to date." The single contrasts the high-energy riffs of DUMB BLOOD as well as VANT's last release, Conceived in the Sky, which has been Vant's most experimental work so far. "In the Dark Times" is vulnerable and unveiled, with Vant's signature singable melodies and haunting guitar effects. The song's lyrics are poetic (literally) and relatable to a collective experience of isolation and darkness during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The accompanying music video takes place in an urban setting, starring Vant in various foreboding and mysterious masks. There are shots of the artist in various locations, including a playground, a park, the woods, and on streets, some of which include sparklers, a red cowboy hat, or a bright pink guitar. In the song's climactic final moments, Vant smashes the guitar and sets it on fire, his animal mask flying off in the process.
Listen to "In the Dark Times" below and let us know what you think.