Interbellum is the musical project of Lebanese singer-songwriter Karl Mattar. The project blends elements of noise pop, folk and garage rock into a idiosyncratic mix centered around Mattar's songwriting.
Latest album Dead Pets, Old Griefs (2018, Ruptured/Cargo Records UK) was recorded in Beirut with long-time producer Fadi Tabbal and features 10 songs that revolve around themes of memory, time, childhood and loss. The record plays like a broken music box, its kaleidoscopic melodic songs disjointed and smeared with noise, dissonance and processed sounds.
The project and album have made best-of lists in the Arab world and beyond, receiving praise from publications like Gold Flake Paint, The Wire and GQ Middle East among many others.
Now Try Coughing (2016, self-released) is Interbellum’s first album and features 8 lyrically dense guitar-driven songs recorded on 8-track cassette at Tunefork Studios in Beirut. Band leader Karl Mattar is assisted by guitarist Fadi Tabbal (Bunny Tylers), bassist Elie Abdelnour (Safar) and drummer Pascal Semerdjian (Postcards).