California singer/songwriter Matt Costa's tuneful songs combine his love of '60s folk, the British Invasion, '70s AM pop, and '80s college rock. Beginning with a reissue of his 2005 debut LP a year later, Jack Johnson's Brushfire Records released his first four albums, including 2008's Unfamiliar Faces, his Billboard 200 debut. Costa went on to provide the songs and instrumental pop tracks for the 2016 documentary Orange Sunshine, and he moved to Dangerbird Records for solo releases including his sixth studio album, 2020's Yellow Coat.
Born in Huntington Beach, California in 1982, Matthew Albert Costa received his first guitar at age 12. While he was always interested in music, and played in a band in high school, Costa's first love was skateboarding. His dreams of going pro came to an end, however, when he seriously injured his leg in a skateboarding accident when he was 18. During his year-and-a-half-long rehabilitation, he decided to refocus his energy on songwriting and guitar playing, resulting in a series of four-track demos. One of these demos found its way to No Doubt guitarist Tom Dumont, who liked what he heard so much that he offered to produce Costa's music. They soon recorded two independently released EPs, Matt Costa EP and The Elasmosaurus, as well as an early version of the full-length Songs We Sing.
Costa's EPs caught the ear of Brushfire Records owner Jack Johnson, who signed him to the label and invited him to open his 2005 summer tour. In 2006, Brushfire reissued Songs We Sing with an extra song and re-ordered tracks. The Dumont-helmed production Unfamiliar Faces followed in 2008 and landed on the Billboard 200, reaching number 59. Costa's self-produced third LP, Mobile Chateau, followed in 2010 with a vintage sound that recalled mid-'60s British Invasion and garage rock, and his lusher 2013 album, Matt Costa, took its influence more from '70s AM pop.
Beginning in February 2016, he released a series of five self-produced, acoustic-leaning EPs over 12 months: Eucalyptus, Cat Mosta, Neon Brain, Live in London, and Anchor & the Albatross. Also in 2016, Costa supplied the soundtrack to Orange Sunshine, an award-winning documentary about infamous '60s and '70s LSD suppliers the Brotherhood of Love. He then signed with Dangerbird Records and returned with his fifth official solo album, Santa Rosa Fangs, in 2018. A mix of biographical and fictional stories about his home state of California, it was co-produced by Costa, Peter Matthew Bauer (the Walkmen), and Nick Stumpf (French Kicks). He recorded the intimate, breakup-inspired Yellow Coat with touring musicians and friends under the guidance of producer Alex Newport (Death Cab for Cutie, City and Colour). It arrived on Dangerbird in 2020. ~ Marcy Donelson & Marisa Brown