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

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more

2020-01-07
Joel Vandroogenbroeck RIP – Word has reached us of the death of Joel Vandroogenbroeck, best known as one of the founders of Brainticket, He also recorded electronic music under a variety of names. He was born August 25th, 1938 in Brussels, Belgium and died December 23, 2019 in Arlesheim, Switzerland, aged 81. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Imogene - Imogene – Certainly one of the ways for a band to achieve a distinctive sound is to feature an unconventional lineup of instruments. Imogene takes this tack by taking a typical b/d/g/k format and substituting...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues