There are so many unanswered and perhaps unanswerable questions in our modern world, like how does Austen Reed manage to stay open, who decided that Gordon Brown should be the man to maintain Labour’s already waning popularity and why they don’t just send the Big Brother housemates in naked from the start?
The greatest of all conundrums for me however, is how a man that speaks with the broadest of Midlands accents can have the singing voice of an angel, Nick Drake and probably God, wrapped into one.
I remember first hearing Scott Matthews on Radio 4 about a year ago. He was going through the routine questions of where he was touring, how he started out etc. From listening to him speak I was expecting a sound that was rocky and electric guitar driven, with very little emphasis on the vocal quality itself. Then, the presenter (I think it was Dermot O’ Leary) played one of Scott’s tunes and many of us have had trouble picking our jaws up off the floor ever since.
Scott Matthews is a true genius – the complete musician and a breath of fresh air in a climate of over hyped, over produced and under talented teenage bands that disappear before you even know the correct spelling of their name. His music is spine tinglingly beautiful, instantly memorable, tragic, enduring, passionate and original. He would profit in any musical era and I just can’t imagine anyone not liking, no, loving, his stuff.
There is a definite retrospective edge about his folky style. He seemingly takes influence from great singer songwriters of the past, not least the aforementioned Drake and Jeff Buckley. His songs are perhaps a little more formulaic than Buckley’s but they have that same pedigree, timelessness and freedom, and a similarly spectacular vocal that sucks you in – spontaneously and terminally. His music feels so significant that it somehow renews and reinvigorates your faith in humanity. Big words indeed, but the album is worthy of the highest praise in my eyes and ears.
Elusive, the latest single from that incredible album, really sums up everything that is good about him. He effortlessly moulds a style from yesteryear with the commercial accessibility that today’s record industry demands, without compromising the vibe he wants to present. The result is total musical harmony.
I struggle to find anything memorable in so much new music but as soon as I put a Scott Matthews tune on I know I’ll be pleasantly haunted by it for at least the next week. It’s going over in my head right now and if it doesn’t ever stop this time, I won’t be too fussed! This man should be wrapped in cotton wool and only brought out of storage when he is ready to make his next song. He’s a national treasure that we can’t afford to lose. We salute you Scott Matthews