The harmony of multiple instruments and seamless falsetto vocals of The Undercover Dream Lovers would lead you to believe this is a collective indie band with multiple creatives behind the project. It’s actually just a singular person; one lover to end all lovers. Known for his highlighter hair and psychedelic music to match, Matt Koenig is a Pittsburgh-born songwriter, producer, and the sole artist behind The Undercover Dream Lovers.
While often compared to the likes of Tame Impala or Glass Animals, Koenig actually draws a lot of inspiration from the genre-bending 70s band, Hot Chocolate. Their ubiquitous sound, serving as the background music for several films, sparked Koenig to dive deeper in his own music research.
After four years of releasing singles and EPs, Koenig unveiled his first album, It’s All in Your Head, in February of 2020. The opening track “A Way Out” draws direct inspiration from Hot Chocolate, particularly in his use of a guitar that he edited to sound like a saxophone.
Koenig’s writing process ties into his project’s namesake with dreaming. He describes his lyrics to be a stream of consciousness with no rhyme or reason, sometimes taking only a few weeks to completely refine an EP.
“It’s not always the clearest thing—sort of like a dream, but there’s a lot of truth in it…” Koenig said in an interview with L.A. Record.. “I love that I can cheat with the whole dream thing, because dreaming is sort of bizarre—you don’t know what’s going to happen, and one thing doesn’t make sense with the next, and you’re asking yourself what does it all mean.”
Koenig has since released more than seven songs after the album release, one of which features NEIL FRANCES, entitled “Tell Me.” His first song of 2021, “Maybe It’s Just Rare,” was brought about while filming a day in his life of making music, shot and edited by Jordi Tager. It shows the entire process of creating the song, offering an intimate front row seat to the inner workings of the Undercover Dream Lovers.
- Written by Mallika Pal