A beloved figure of the South Australian music scene, veteran artist Matthew Hayward has today launched his new Street Legal project with the debut single, ‘Vape Nation’.

If you’ve so much as thought of the Adelaide music scene in recent years, the chances are good that Hayward has been involved in some way. Having launched his own musical career as the frontman of the Central Deli Band, Hayward’s been a driving force in the local scene for years, helping find fame for the sorely-missed Fire! Santa Rosa, Fire!, managing a handful of exceptional talents, and even serving as the head of training at Music SA.

However, when he’s not helping to bring the talents of Adelaide artists to the forefront or sharing his talents as a broadcaster, Hayward can be found exercising his own musical abilities. Now, the local scene is lucky enough to welcome his new project, Street Legal, with the debut single ‘Vape Nation’ appearing today.

'Vape Nation' by Street Legal

Having been inspired by his teenage love affair with art school punk (Young Americans-era Bowie meets DEVO) and the Australasian new wave of his parents record collection (Split Enz meets Midnight Oil), ‘Vape Nation’ is described as an “impassioned proto-punk appeal for enlightenment in the age of disinformation”, with its lyrics focusing around the growing violent divide between partisan politics and the over-reliance upon the clickbait news cycle.

“These crackpot and delusional conspiracy theories from the darkest recesses of the web have proliferated online and have then been normalised by corporate leviathans for advertising revenue.” Hayward laments of the track’s message. “Now all of a sudden people are telling me I can catch a fake mind control virus from a telephone pole in my local suburb. I fucking wish!”

“This song is trying to weigh that all up in my mind, the inequality and disparity we’re facing, the existential threats that aren’t being addressed because we choose to believe in nothing.”

Featuring Hayward on guitars, synth, and vocals, with Empty Threats frontman Stuart Patterson handling bass and sax, Luke Eygenraam taking on percussion, ‘Street Legal’ was recorded and mixed by up and coming engineer Colby Robertson (Totally Unicorn, Horror My Friend) at Ghostnote Studios on Kaurna Land and was mastered by Matthew Hadley (Methyl Ethel, Total Giovanni).

An exceptional track that gets better with each and every listen, ‘Vape Nation’ is hopefully the first of many compositions to come from this exceptional new outfit.

Street Legal’s ‘Vape Nation’ is officially out now.

Check out ‘Vape Nation’ by Street Legal: