Halcyon Days & Pang: The Albums That Shape Matt Woodman’s World

Drawing from a diverse musical palette, Matt Woodman shares the albums that ignited his creative spark.

Nestled within Manchester’s lively music scene, 25-year-old singer-songwriter Matt Woodman presents his debut album, “The World That We Live In.” This introspective gem, blending electro-pop with a touch of British Alt-Rock and indie pop, invites listeners into a laid-back musical journey.

As we explore Woodman’s inspirations for this album, we’ll take a leisurely stroll through a curated selection of albums that have left their mark on his creative landscape. From the genre-spanning experiment of Coldplay’s “Everyday Life” to Bruce Hornsby’s easygoing yet gifted “Halcyon Days,” each choice offers a glimpse into the cool currents that flow through Woodman’s musical sensibilities.

matt woodman

These are the albums  that serve as a tranquil backdrop, painting a portrait of the influences that have shaped his unique sound and his album “The World We Live In”.

Everyday Life – Coldplay 

Coldplay have been my favourite band since I was a kid and Everyday Life shows how great they are when they experiment within different genres. It has moments of grandeur and moments of vulnerability, which is the balance I wanna stride on each project I make. The opening song on my album (Welcome Call) was made just to be a track I walked on stage to at gigs, but remembering that Sunrise opened this album inspired me to make it the album opener. It’s Coldplay’s most creative album in years and their most underrated album in my opinion. 

Key tracks – Church, Trouble In Town, Arabesque, When I Need A Friend

Halcyon Days – Bruce Hornsby 

This album is the perfect blend of gifted musicianship and everlasting bangers. Bruce is the best piano player in the world and a gifted songwriter, especially when writing about insecurity. Circus on The Moon is one of my favourite songs of all time because the lyrics are very relatable and this style of pop-rock with epic strings is something I aim to create in my own music.

Gonna Be Some Changes Made may be my favourite album opener ever because of how it builds and the infectious hooks riddled throughout that song. 

Key tracks – Gonna Be Some Changes Made, Circus On The Moon, Hooray for Tom, Mirror on The Wall

Pang – Caroline Polachek

To me, Caroline is the closest thing we have to artists like Kate Bush or Peter Gabriel in modern music. She uses her knowledge of global and historical musical cultures to create music that honours those traditions and presents them to a modern audience, which has been so inspirational to me in terms of my urge to learn more and implement it in my own music.

She also has one of my favourite singing voices because it has an incredible range, depth and elegance to it while she finds new and exciting ways to use her voice in her music. 

Key tracks – Pang, New Normal, Look At Me Now, Ocean of Tears 

Nurture – Porter Robinson

If you’re looking for an uplifting album with the best produced electronic music, Nurture is the album for you. I’ve loved Porter’s productions since I was introduced to him by one of my music tech teachers in college, but here he debuts his talent for writing the most addictive songs I’ve heard in years.

Look At The Sky has a chorus that I wanna yell from the rooftops while Musician shows us Porter’s own struggle with the creative pursuit, the way his family & friends have responded to it and how he kept pushing to get this album made. This album inspired the electronic elements of my album, but Musician lyrically inspired me to keep pushing forward when I was doubting myself.

Key tracks – Look At The Sky, Musician, Mirror, Something Comforting


Rain – Joe Jackson

Joe was a key voice in my musical upbringing, so I was raised on his atypical chord structures and sarcastic lyricism. Similarly to Bruce, Joe uses his impressive piano skills to create songs that are musically complex but easily enjoyable for all listeners.

The piano melody that ends my song, The Other Side, is very much inspired by the chord choices that Joe uses on songs from Rain, especially Citizen Sane.

Key tracks – Invisible Man, Citizen Sane, Rush Across The Road, Good Bad Boy

Making Mirrors – Gotye 

Gotye is one of my favourite singers, producers and drummers and Making Mirrors showcases these skills in many genres while ensuring the album flows as its own contained piece.

Most people know the big single, but this album is packed with gems and is a “no skips” album in my opinion. The way he blends acoustic instruments like slide guitar and harp with synths and samples is hugely inspirational for my sound. The tracks that showcase this blend the best are Eyes Wide Open and Save Me.

Key tracks – Easy Way Out, Eyes Wide Open, I Feel Better, Save Me

A Hundred Million Suns – Snow Patrol

Gary Lightbody is an idol of mine because of the introverted way he writes about big sentiments and lets the band present these emotions in musically epic scopes. Our vocal ranges are similar, so I look to him for inspiration for what I could do with my voice.

This album strikes the perfect balance between charged anthems and restrained introspection, which all comes together in the closing track: The Lightning Strike. It’s 3 songs compiled together into one piece and blends beautiful orchestration with an alt-rock pulse that I get swept up in every time.

Key Tracks – Take Back The City, Please Just Take These Photos From My Hands, The Planets Bend Between Us, The Lightning Strike

tick, tick… BOOM! (Soundtrack from the Netflix Film) – Various Artists

I’m aware this is an odd choice, but this movie was a huge inspiration to me while I was finishing the album, so I wanted to put the soundtrack on here. For those unfamiliar, it’s about a New York-based composer called Johnathan Larson and his struggle to get his first musical created.

When this movie came out, I was in the weeds of album mixing and getting frustrated at myself for not being better at it. The film shared my creative frustrations and some of the events in the plot oddly echoed events that happened to me, plus the soundtrack is stacked with bangers. This mixed with my obsession with Andrew Garfield made for the perfect film for me at the perfect time.

Key Tracks – 30/90, Johnny Can’t Decide, Come To Your Senses, Louder Than Words