According to Matthew & Me, a group from Totnes, Devon in England, they suggest that their sound may be influenced by the town they reside in. If that’s the case then I highly suggest aspiring musicians may want to pack their bags and settle right next to these lads because the music they make is fantastic. Not unlike a band like Sigur Rós they create haunting, cinematic atmospheres that are lush and sound much larger than the sum of their parts. The singer also may remind you a bit of Jónsi but you would never confuse the two.
There are five songs on their recent release MMXIII, which burst with an abundance of optimism that you can’t possibly find in real life that is backed by a subtle yet significant amount of melancholy. Each song brings a slightly different flavor as you are treated to orchestral string instruments, piano, clean reverb-laced guitars, drums, bass and some of the best vocal work in recent memory. The singer’s voice is pretty incredible. It has an original tone that is inviting, almost ethereal at times. He is no baritone and sings in a higher pitch that works with the music.
The album opens with “Modern Life” which gets you going right away. A steady tom drum beats as guitar chords are strummed at the beginning of every measure. As the song begins to rock out it soars more like a bird rather than just getting loud. The song hits its stride towards the end when the singer keeps repeating the phrase “this modern life” before its transition to the last part. The second song “Festival” doesn't lose any steam. It contains just as much visceral energy as the first song. As the song progresses it adds more instruments including the lush arrangement of orchestral strings. ”Alright” starts off with a very intriguing guitar riff that is almost as interesting as the lead vocal. The verse is as catchy as the chorus and after multiple listens may be my favorite song on the album. They close with “Hide and Seek” which is the most melancholy of the tracks on the album but also very engaging. It is a solid choice for a closer as it ends on a powerful note.
There is not much else to say about this album except that you should be listening to it.
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