Interbellum is the musical project of Lebanese singer-songwriter Karl Mattar. Formed in 2015, the project sees him working alongside multi-instrumentalist and producer Fadi Tabbal and other musicians from the Beirut music scene. Interbellum started as a lo-fi rock outfit and later expanded into more left-field pop rock.
Dead Pets, Old Griefs (2018, Ruptured/Cargo Records) is the band’s second full-length album and features 10 songs that revolve around themes of memory, time, childhood, and loss. Apocalyptic imagery - real, imagined and figurative - permeates the album, and the instrumentation follows suit, warping, distorting and folding on itself. The record plays like a broken music box, its kaleidoscopic melodic songs disjointed and smeared by noise, dissonance and processed sounds. Recorded in Tabbal’s Tunefork Studios, the album features contributions by Marwan Tohme, Julia Sabra and Pascal Semerdjian from Postcards, as well as Camille Cabbabé from KŌZŌ.
Interbellum previously self-released the guitar-driven Now Try Coughing (2016).
Mattar has also released folk albums under the name Charlie Rayne. 2014’s Wider Waters saw him move to Berlin and embark on a 40-date tour in Europe before returning to Beirut to launch Interbellum. Both projects have been staples of Wickerpark Festival, the leading indie festival in the Middle East.