Exposé Online banner

Jesse Matas — Tamarock
(Bandcamp no#, 2018, CD / LP / DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2019-08-29

Tamarock Cover art

The debut solo album by Canadian singer-songwriter Jesse Matas is an open heart collection of folk songs, half-spoken poems set to music, along with some gritty guitar workouts and one short but succinct instrumental. I have to confess to knowing next to nothing about his band Crooked Brothers, who made their last album Thank You, I’m Sorry five years ago. In the time since Matas has been composing, writing poetry, and creating artwork, some of the latter can be found on his site, along with the lyrics to nine of the ten cuts on Tamarock (remember, “Sleep” is an instrumental), along with videos for several of those and some Crooked Brothers tunes as well. Matas sings and plays guitars, banjo, mandolin, and (I believe) harmonica throughout the album, and in fact several of the best cuts just feature him and few aditional arrangements (outside of possibly overdubs). Other musicians contribute drums, piano, bass, violin, hurdy gurdy, and backing vocals, track depending. “Rock and Sand” and “Walking Human” are full-on rock tunes somewhat reminiscent of Neil Young in his Crazy Horse period. “Hardline” takes a folky, acoustic Neil Young-like approach as well, no doubt an influence on Matas. “Monarch” and “The Myth of Forests” are essentially spoken poems over energetic musical backing, two tracks that didn’t interest me much at first but have grown on me over numerous spins. “Peace River Song” and “Before, We” make the most out of the simplest arrangements – the former only banjo, harmonica, and vocals, the latter acoustic guitar, piano, bass, and light-touch drums with backing vocals. The opener “Tamarack” follows a similar gentle acoustic arrangement, although more stylish. One thing that must be mentioned, Matas has a lot to say with his lyrics, whether he’s exploring more acoustic folky arrangements or rocking out. In all, Matas is a promising songwriter that’s trying to bring a lot of diverse styles together, and succeeding.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Jesse Matas

More info
http://jessematas.bandcamp.com/releases

Latest news

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Billy Currie - Stand up and Walk – The second solo album by violinist and composer Billy Currie (ex Ultravox, Visage) traces a narrow path down a lush musical side road. Having completed his tenure with those bands, moving into a...  (2002) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues