Mat Jones recorded this EP in Louisburg, NC, before heading to Brooklyn, NY. He released a pleasant four-song EP last January. Jones describes his music as being influenced by Nick Drake, Iron & Wine and Elliott Smith, but I'd go further to say his music is an emulation of those three. There are other kisses of affection in the tracks (Smog comes to mind), but the three mentioned are the Big Three. It Is Rain in My Face is the solo music project of Mat Jones. Since 2010, Jones has put out numerous EPs, both self-released and through a number of smaller labels (Speaker Snacks, Absent Fever, DZ Tapes, Denmark Records). In August of 2012, It Is Rain in My Face released his self-titled debut LP which has received radio airplay around the country and accolades from various sources. Wasting no time he followed up with Languish in the Evening, which is an equally impressive EP that spins progressive folk music that reminded of what Elliot Smith may have sounded like if he discovered how to use a drum machine. The electronics are subtle and do not distract from the guitar and vocals which provide the heart of the song. Mat Jones however is utterly unique, often sounding different on each song.
Backwoods blues with faint evening tape hiss and softly knocking percussion make for some affecting songs, far more evocative than most folk or rock acts nowadays, in my opinion. Subtle electronic touches provide some nice texture to the overall sound, which is very gentle and very autumnal. You can hear the same rustic awareness in Jones’ voice, especially on the eponymous first track, where his voice groans and rasps over the sounds of confident guitar playing. The EP starts with “Languish in the Evening” which is a good somber song that has some great acoustic guitar and vocal melodies. Simple yet good. Something I would listen on a rainy Sunday afternoon. The biggest bummer is Jones doesn't know how to sustain his ideas, most of which are very, very good. The songs are on the short side, with the final track "Running Away Again" being the only one exceeding four minutes. As well, some of the beats Jones employs seem excessive and take away from the experience of the song. "And the Names" should have been left alone of all but the man's voice and guitar. Despite that, this is a fantastic EP from a folk artist who deserves a wider audience.
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