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Reviewed by Sophie Mashlan

Matthew Smith: Self-titled

Reviewed by Sophie Mashlan

Matthew Smith: Self-titled

Ashburton resident Matthew Smith’s self-titled album is ten tracks long, and the songs vary from soft and folky to upbeat with alt country influences. Despite its breadth in genre, the album still works together cohesively, using similar instrumentation and gentle atmospheric effects in most tracks. The album was produced by Ben Edwards and Matthew Smith collaboratively at The Sitting Room in Lyttelton, with help from Nick Dow on violin and keys, drummer “to the stars” Joe McCallum, Shaun Burke on bass, trombone by Rod Cross, and the Rangi Ruru Girls Choir. The sound quality is phenomenal as we’re used to from recent releases coming from Edwards – crisp with a perfect balance of warmth. The lyrics are evocative, and Smith’s voice is clear and rich. The fundamental instrumentation of the songs is folky; however, it borrows from other genres, with pedal steel guitar, and trombone. Refined and simple, yet effective, this album is immersive and creates an intimate atmosphere. Before becoming a solo artist, Matthew Smith was the frontman for Christchurch rock’n’roll band Von Voin Strum. This album is his first full length album released as a solo artist, and follows his four-track EP, ‘Before You Lay Down’, released in 2015. If you need a starting track to get into the album, make it Doesn’t This Feel Like Home which is a great representation of the music throughout the album.