Album: Home Part 1
Label: San Remo
He writes delicate melodies and chords like John Martyn, his passion and intensity as a musician is equal to that of Jeff Buckley, his song writing is as fine as the one of Josh Ritter. His musicianship is extraordinary – as a vocalist, guitarist, instrumentalist and composer: Scott Matthews. His music is unique and that’s what makes him one of the most interesting singer-songwriters of our time. Good that Nashville-based Thirty Tiger entertainment company has recognized his talent and helps promoting his new, sensational album Home Part I. Recorded solely at home with a bunch of fellow musicians, among them the amazing Danny Keane on cello, it lacks nothing in terms of sound quality. It’s the opposite – it gains a note of an intimate, personal affair that you as a listener are lucky enough to witness.
Scott Matthews’ music is a blessing, honestly. There is no lack of upbeat songs as you can sometimes read – his songs have a tension in and by themselves, no beat necessary. Mind you, there is drumming included in some songs like in the fantastic “Sunlight” – to me one of the most exciting songs ever written. But as I said, his songs do quite well without almost any drums like the wonderful “Let’s get you Home” with its fine melody that reminds me of Josh Ritter’s song writing. It’s other means than the power of a full drum set that are used to create tension: It’s some beautiful vocal harmonies or a somehow out of fashion sounding guitar solo (on a 1976 Maton C50) that after setting in is played in unison with the vocals, and then is played in unison with the chorus sung an octave higher than before. If you listen carefully, you will realize that the lyrics of the chorus changes towards this subtle and brilliant end of the song and therewith the whole album: “You can be who you really are in my arms” changes to “We can be who we really are in our home”. Because of this subtlety the listener is forced to listen with attention and he or she will be rewarded with excitement. Besides, this last phrase of the album seems to summon up what Home Part I is about: It’s about getting home, arriving, also about ending.
I could go on praising every single song on this album, including the surprising instrumental track “The Clearing”. All of them are stunning, each of them in its very own way. Instead, let me just warn you: Scott Matthews’ songs put you into a different world, you can get lost in them and when you stop listening it might even be a bit painful, like waking up after a dream.