Matt Hales (born January 17, 1972), better known as Aqualung, is a British singer/songwriterbest known in the United Kingdom for his song “Strange and Beautiful (I’ll Put a Spell on You)”, which was featured on a television advertisement for the new Volkswagen Beetle during the summer of 2002 and went on to become a Top 10 hit in the UK singles chart later that year.
Prior to his success as Aqualung, Hales was known as the lead singer of mid-1990s, London-based Britpop band Ruth. Ruth had a string of moderately successful hit singles, including “I Don’t Know,” “Valentine’s Day,” and “Fear of Flying,” and one album, “Harrison,” before changing their name in 2001 to The 45’s. As The 45s, the band released two more singles and one posthumous album to little attention before splitting so Hales could focus on his new endeavor as Aqualung. Almost immediately after the band’s split, “Strange and Beautiful” began climbing the British charts and gaining massive amounts of attention—a dramatic turnabout from the previous year. In 2005, Aqualung would even achieve elusive success in the United States, where they are best known for the song “Brighter Than Sunshine”, which had considerable airplay and was used in the film A Lot Like Love and various television spots. He’s also known to some for his song, “Easier to Lie”, which was featured on the hit television show, Scrubs. His music also went on to feature in another hit television show the OC. His song, “Strange and Beautiful” was also featured on the hit show CSI. Later, the song “Something To Believe In” was also featured at the ending of an episode of CSI: Miami. It was also featured in the movie “Wicker Park”. “The Lake” was also featured on the wildly popular television show Grey’s Anatomy. Aqualung has also had songs featured on One Tree Hill in various seasons. In 2009, his song “Easier to Lie” was again featured on a television show, this time Lie To Me.
It has been written that Hales took the name “Aqualung” from a Jethro Tull album of the same name. However, he himself says he was not aware of this album, and that it was descriptive of the underwater feeling he felt listening to his debut album.
His debut single, “Strange and Beautiful (I’ll Put a spell on You)”, was released in the UK on the B-Unique label on September 16, 2002, and reached number 7 in the UK Top 40 and was used in the film Wicker Park.
The song “Something To Believe In” from the album “Memory Man” was used during the ending of the former ABC show Eli Stone premiered on Jan 31, 2008.
The song “Good Times Gonna Come” has recently been used on the show Skins on the British channel E4.
On April 20th, 2010 Aqualung released his 6th studio album Magnetic North (2010). The first single released is a song called “Fingertip”.