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Reviewed by Amanda Mills

Matt Langley: Winterdust

Reviewed by Amanda Mills

Matt Langley: Winterdust

Dunedin-based acoustic singer/songwriter Matt Langley has been steadily writing and recording for the last 10 years, winning an APRA Best Country Song award along the way (for his 2010 song 7:13).

‘Winterdust’ is his third album, recorded at The Port Chalmers Recording Service (formerly Chicks Hotel) by Tom Bell, and has beautiful melodies, sparse, but affecting acoustic guitar and strings arrangements, and a stillness in the music that relays a grounding in the musical textures.

Delicate is one word to describe the album in terms of texture, although a surprising vein of 1960s baroque-pop songwriting appears in the staccato strings of Delicate Sun’s chorus, removing any shred of fragility.

Langley’s folk balladry reveals dissonance and melancholy in the lilting and weaving melodies and instrumentation, and his careworn voice underscores the imagery and emotion in his lyrics, which draws together different imagery.

The Night And Me is probably the best exemplar of this, Alex Vaastra’s violin haunting the finger-picked acoustic guitar accompaniment, and elegiac vocal melody.

There is a quiet, beautiful, simplicity to ‘Winterdust’ that comes from pairing Langley’s voice with an acoustic guitar and some understated strings. However, repeat listens reveal textures not immediately apparent.

While brief at eight tracks long, ‘Winterdust’ leaves an impression long after the final notes have faded.

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