Don’t be fooled by the name Matt Hannah has quite the backing band for his album Dreamland. Matt Hannah (vocals/guitar), J T Bates (drums/percussion), Erik Koskinen (guitars), Ian Allison (bass), Aaron Fabbrini (pedal steel/upright bass) and Matt Patrick (guitar/hammond organ/accordion/vocals) are the full lineup.
I’m glad this album was fleshed out with instrumentation. The songs could have been simply guitar and vocals as most of the songs have a folk/American vibe to them. I thought the other instrumentation felt warm and quite dreamlike. Perhaps this was a conscious effort. Either way to worked for me and helped create a cohesive sound.
Up first is the title track which was a highlight. The song is soft, warm, melancholy and nostalgic. All the elements work very nicely in unison. Almost as if it's like one instrument rather than feeling separate.
Up next is “Broken Hearts and Broken Bones” which is more upbeat and also gives you a nice dose of Americana. However, like the title track it still feels warm with a sense of solace. “Dandelion” is a slower yet often beautiful sounding track while “Banks of the Mississippi” has additional percussive effects that give the album a little more variety.
As the album progresses I thought the flow was exceptional. The sequential order of songs is paramount in my opinion to the feel of an album. Switching around songs can greatly affect how someone feels about an album. Remember those things that people used to listen to from front to beginning.
I thought the instrumentation was so good on this album the music by itself would have worked. “Something in the Air” would be an exceptional ambient track.
Overall, this is a great album. The production and songwriting is exceptional.
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