I can usually get a sense when listening to album of how long an artist has been playing, performing and writing music. The proof is almost always in the pudding and it wasn’t long before I noticed the fermenting, innate talent that Matty French possesses on his album The Storm.
French started with playing the violin at age seven and learned guitar at age twelve. By the time he was sixteen he got involved with digital audio. He formed a band and then took a step back to release his solo material.
French has the ability to really understand the aesthetics of songwriting. He knows what works, when to push, when to pull. On top of that the delivery is exceptional. He never hits a sour note and displays creative and technical talent on a number of instruments but most notable would be the guitar.
He opens up with “Weapon” and my initial thought was that the guitar sounded similar to what Elliot Smith would play. Along with that his voice sometimes has an inflection that is comparable to Smith. That being said there are also clear differences as well. French’s music is more upbeat and lively than Smith’s catalogue ever was.
The songs are catchy, really catchy. Take for instance “Crumble.” Tell me you aren’t addicted to that vocal melody after you hear it. He sings, “It wasn't ever so easy / To write a novel reply / Like speaking with an eraser / So many places to hide.”
Another addictive song is “Movin’ On” which has a brisk, going for a walk vibe while “Icarus Falls” contains effective electric piano and was that a theremin I heard. On “Storm” you believe him when he sings, “Maybe we can find a way / To make this dark, dark world / Seem a little bit brighter.”
He closes with the poppy “High Spot” which felt like the most single worthy song on the album. French doesn’t overload this album. With seven songs it was a near perfect fill and left completely satisfied.
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