Interview: Mattie Safer (NYC) introduces us to his new project “Safer” ahead of The New Colossus

Next month, the AU review will be returning to New York for our first party in the city since 2015, as we partner with The New Colossus Festival to showcase a few of our favourite emerging acts from around the world. Among them is New York City local Mattie Safer, a former member of The Rapture, current member of Poolside, and occasional Beni. collaborator, who’s making some incredible music in a new project that borrows his surname.

Ahead of the show, we caught up with Mattie to find out more about Safer, which is certain to get you onto the dancefloor (just check out “Countercultural Savior” below…).

Tell us a little bit about how “Safer” came to be. 

I went out for drinks one night with an old friend, reminiscing about the old days and my time in The Rapture, and while walking home heard some Joy Division coming out the window of a bar. It was very different from what I had been working on, but I thought to myself “I can do that”, went home and quickly demoed up 4 songs. They didn’t sound anything like Joy Division, but the creativity flowed, I had a blast doing it, and decided to drop what I was doing and keep making more songs in that vein.

How would you best describe the music scene in New York City these days?

New York City’s music scene is brilliant right now. So many great bands really coming into their own. I could easily go out and 5 or 6 nights a week and see a great show filled with quality locals.

Always a terrible question to ask to the person who created the music, but how would you best describe the music to someone who hasn’t heard it before?

Dance, soul, rock ‘n’ roll. Clash Magazine called it “Otis Redding style soul meets NY disco-not-disco.” Your favorite new band.

What are the latest releases for Safer?

The latest Safer single came out a couple of months ago, and is called “Countercultural Savior” you can stream it here and watch the video here:

We also released an EP last year called Sleepless Nights and a video for a song from that EP called “Good Things”.

What else do you have coming up?

I will be touring with my other band Poolside quite a bit this Spring, but Safer will be doing some shows on the east coast in March/April, and hopefully releasing an album in the Fall.

Who else should punters check out at The New Colossus?

I’m most excited to see Knife Wife, The Orielles, Public Practice and A Place To Bury Strangers.

For more about Safer, visit

The New Colossus’s 2nd edition takes place on the Lower East Side of Manhattan from March 11-15, 2020. For more details about the event, and to grab a badge for $100 – which gives you access to all showcases (including ours!), happy hour mixers panels and more – head to their official website HERE. For more about our event, head HERE.

Standalone tickets for this event are $10 and you can grab them HERE

Photo by Kevin Condon.

Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.