The Matt Sheffer Songbook, Vol. 1

by Friend Roulette

supported by
Arminda Klier
Arminda Klier thumbnail
Arminda Klier Absolutely gorgeous. I am selfishly very happy that Friend Roulette forced their friend Matt into letting them immortalize his early music. Favorite track: Joan.
  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    You'll also get a bonus Melter remix of Viva Zyprexa. Extra melty.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $6 USD  or more


  • Cassette + Digital Album

    Clear red tint sonic tapes, expertly dubbed by National Audio Company in Springfield, Missouri. The A side is Friend Roulette's The Matt Sheffer Songbook, Vol. 1, and the B side features the original Matt Sheffer demos, recorded between 2006 and 2009, and released here for the first time.

    Includes unlimited streaming of The Matt Sheffer Songbook, Vol. 1 via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 10 days

      $7 USD or more 




A decade ago, before Friend Roulette had formed, the band’s future members were all friends with a singer from Houston named Matt Sheffer. Matt had the most beautiful, powerful voice. Though he wasn't much for alcohol, he could still go to karaoke bars and hustle for free drinks anytime he felt like it. Even more impressive than his voice was his compositional brilliance. He would spend days at a time crashing on his own couch (he had a bedroom, but seldom used it), recording songs on Garageband using his laptop's built-in microphone, leaving the apartment only to buy more Diet Coke & Ritz crackers. Every so often, he’d ask someone if they’d like to hear what he was working on. Without fail, he'd present an utter masterpiece, that despite its crude recording, was a radio-ready instant-classic.

Sadly, Matt was his own greatest adversary and harshest critic. Shortly after bringing these incredible songs to life, he would inevitably doubt whether they were any good at all. He disavowed entire albums of material, removing them from his Myspace page, only to start the process all over again. Eventually, Matt gave up his fraught musical pursuits in Brooklyn for the slower pace of Austin, TX. After a long period of inactivity, Matt finally returned to the world of left-field pop over the last few years, trickling psychedelic epics into the ether with his eccentric and uniquely-Sheffer sextet, Zettajoule.

In 2016, Friend Roulette decided that they had a responsibility to record some of Matt's old songs as an act of preservation. After rearranging the material for their unique instrumentation and adding some ensemble elements of their own, they yielded The Matt Sheffer Songbook, Vol. 1, a loving tribute to a talented friend and a strange body of music that without, the band would not likely exist. Though they did not compose the song's skeletons themselves, the album feels like a Friend Roulette origin story, like their self-titled debut seven years late. It's through this deep-rooted musical kinship and ESP-level chemistry that they've created something greater than Matt could've in his crippling bouts of self-doubt, yet also greater than they could've without his clear vision as their guiding light. A decade ago, Matt Sheffer had already mastered an uncompromising and ever-adventurous all-in pop sound, that same sound that Friend Roulette has chased for its existence, and one that still sounds shockingly modern today.

The Matt Sheffer Songbook, Vol. 1 hits the world via Pretty Purgatory on June 16th.


released June 16, 2017

Friend Roulette is...
Matthew Flory Meade
Julia Tepper
John Stanesco
Nate Allen
Kyle Olson
Tlacael Esparza

Produced by Friend Roulette
Engineered by Ryan Weiner
Mixed by Paul Hogan
Written by Matt Sheffer
Performed by Friend Roulette

Cover by Julia Tepper
Design & Layout by Niki Taylor


all rights reserved



Pretty Purgatory Portland, Maine

Record Label
Portland, ME, USA
est. 2014

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