Saturday, 27 November 2010

#2: Matthew and the Atlas

Artist of the Day #2:
Matthew and the Atlas

Americana folk should be seen as the bigger, bolder and brasher brother to the recent surge of British Mumford and Marling folk. For some reason, the home nation of Bob Dylan manages to evoke a stronger sense of true heritage when it comes to bedraggled vocals, steadily cautious guitar pickings and an array of traditional percussion.

So, to see a London band, with a vocalist from Aldershot, swell with folk stylings that so vividly recall dusty, backwater Wyoming wilderness, the split between Americana and British folk begins to shake and shatter in the wake of growling vocals about life and love. Matthew & the Atlas are fronted by Mathew Hegarty, a singer who expels a voice so mired in husk and whiskey, managing to resonate an American accent without the usual nasal schtick.

It is difficult to understand how such experience in terms of lyrical content, vocal strain and melodic meandering can spurn from such a young group of British musicians, but it is simply wonderful to listen to regardless. The Nick Drake-like purr of 'Come Out of the Woods' is singed with a slow burning flicker of soul and sadness, whilst 'Beneath The Sea' feels like Tom Waits with a taste for world music.

Give them a listen and maybe pop along to see them at the Luminaire on the 16th December, I shall see thee there.

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