Matt Langley: Featherbones (Hometown)

 |   |  1 min read

Matt Langley: Love and Money
Matt Langley: Featherbones (Hometown)

Langley's rootsy folk-cum-alt.country EP Lost Companions of 2007 – recorded in Wellington – announced a mature lyricist and a singer with a delivery like the best Americana artists (James McMurtry particularly) with a little Dylanesque drawl. It went past most, and this debut album is doing the same with few mainstream media reviews, despite it including 7.13 for which he won an APRA songwriting award (country category).

Again with a small band, Langley presents his crafted, unpretentious songs in an understated way and he has lost some of the vocal mannerisms of the EP for a more personal and convincing result.

The plodding Ride It Out isn't the most promising opener but thereafter in the moody Everybody Knows (which soars powerfully), the ballad I Don't Believe It, that award-winner 7.13 and country-rock of The Lion and the Virgin, and the acoustic folk of July confirm Langley is an assured songwriter with a number of strong, interpretive voices at his disposal. On Love and Money he adopts a worried, world-weariness, for Blue Eyed Once he has a pastoral, poetic optimism coupled with a sense of hurt reflection, and Let It Go Now delivers jaunty folk-rock with an acceptance of being “ordinary”, but by declaring his love you know/he knows he isn't.

Langley's sophistication isn't bannered obviously, and this is as fine a singer-songwriter debut album as you could expect.

Like the sound of this? Then check out this.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Greg Fleming and the Working Poor: To Hell With These Streets (bandcamp)

Greg Fleming and the Working Poor: To Hell With These Streets (bandcamp)

Constructed like a song-cycle about the urban struggle and real world in New Zealand's emotional and physically assaulting 21st century, this is a short but finely focused collection by Auckland... > Read more

Babyshambles: Sequel to the Prequel (Parlophone)

Babyshambles: Sequel to the Prequel (Parlophone)

Although the damaged Pete Doherty may never live up to the promise of the Libertines, this third album with the very patient Babyshambles – five years on from their indifferent Shotter's... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Eric Andersen: Blue Rain: Live (Appleseed/Elite)

Eric Andersen: Blue Rain: Live (Appleseed/Elite)

After four decades as a troubadour, Andersen has finally got round to recording a live album -- but he has done it with typically wilfulness: he hooked up with a Norwegian blues band and recorded... > Read more

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . STRINGBEAN: Long lean banjo picker

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . STRINGBEAN: Long lean banjo picker

If Truman Capote hadn't already written his brilliant “non-fiction novel” In Cold Blood (about the collision of two murderers and their victims in rural Kansas in '59), and he was... > Read more