Setting the record up as an intimate gig with nothing but acoustic instruments and his transcending voice Matthews brings an ‘untold’ version of himself to the forefront, in his best album to date.
Hailing from Wolverhampton, with his hauntingly soft vocals and folk influence, Matthews (a former Ivor Novello Award Winner) returns with his sixth album.
Background instrumentation is minimal with eerie vocals being pronounced heavily throughout. Matthews own voice is trance worthy, as one begins to drift off into a comfortable sleep as acoustic sounds and echoed percussion begin to fill one’s ears effortlessly.
Pressing play on Matthew’s latest album prepares your ears for a reflective phase of music. With Matthews stripping back on this album than ever before, we begin to see an even more vulnerable side to him. As a mature artist, he is letting us experience personal themes such as human nature, unrequited love and identity.
For many artists used to lavish setups and heavy instrumentation, going back to basics (with little production, minimal instrumentation and raw vocals) can be tricky when your fan base expect a formula of music for you to follow like before. However, with his personal songwriting style and loyal fan base, Matthews has managed to present his vocals in full swing with his raspy commanding tone.
On his opening track, Matthews laments “Turn the leaves of season old, there’s still a season to unfold…”. Setting the tone and pace for the album right from the start, the opening track is smooth, dreamy and retrospective. It is one of Matthews most personal songs yet, as he describes a change in season. To comparing his own journey with music and the art of growing up: “Many changes I have known, Through the stages I have grown, Trawling the blues under the spotlights.”
One drawback of the album includes its pace, as it doesn’t feature any soaring hooks or even a change in momentum. However for an artist who has relied on a fusion of a variety of beats and having experimented with a range of genres before, ‘The Great Untold’ serves as Matthews simplest album yet. Seeing him strip the decor off and going back to his own roots in learning about himself, discussing fame in the spotlight and reflecting on love and the mysteries of life itself.
“This is how it all began. I would write at home, in Wolverhampton, and I’m doing that again now.”
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The full tracklist is as follows…
- The Great Untold
- Lawless Stars
- Something Real
- As the Day Passes
- Goodnight Day
- Song to a Wallflower
The Great Untold is out now via Shedio Records.