Matt Cattie started writing songs at the age of eleven and by the age of eighteen somehow accumulated over three hundred songs. After taking a couple years off he is back at it with his first release entitled Pin Cushion.
The EP revolves his acoustic guitar, vocals and not much else. Cattie utilizes basic chord progressions as his voice drips with melancholy. It’s a tried and true formula that has been done countless times before and will be done plenty of times in the future. At his best I was reminded of The Microphones.
The EP starts with “If Winter Ends”. There really isn’t much to say about the song. Cattie has a decent voice as he sings “How I wait for the winds to pass How I long to be found, laying down in the grass How I wait for the snow to melt How I wait for a hand to hold when it’s cold, who understands how I felt”. A synth comes out of nowhere in the song which feels a little too bright and prevalent in the mix.
His best song is the title track which utilizes very simple melodies but has a fragile quality that work wells. It also happens to be Cattie’s best vocal performance. The song really doesn't have much of a chorus but still works. He sings “And every year Through every tear I will be by your side Through every year and every tear I’ll be by your side”
Next up is “Your Favorite Dream” which is another melancholy track that just stays melancholy. There are too many instances of Cattie getting off key in this song. Despite that the song is still decent. He closes with “Old Oak Tree” which feels like an extension of the previous song in mood and feel.
When you look at the top echelon of what artists can do with an acoustic guitar these days it gets intimidating. The latest album by Sufjan Stevens or many of the previous album by The Tallest Man on Earth are a testament to that. At this point Cattie has his work cut out for him if he hopes to be in the league as those artists. There are some good ideas here but the songs don’t feel fleshed out. It’s seems as if he has an idea and doesn’t really know what else to do with it. I think a couple of songs within the four to five minute range would be advantageous. Pin Cushion feels like a appetizer. Hopefully Cattie can build on the foundation he built here and give us something a bit more to bite on next time around.
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