Matt Tipton crafts a refreshing take on the Nirvana classic, blending breathy vocals and a distant wash of effects, with a mellow beat and flickers of dreamy electric guitar.
The new single introduces Matt’s style in a quickly likable, respectable manner. These intricate vocal qualities, the artistic nature of the whole and indeed the production style, all emerge with equal parts intrigue and satisfying familiarity.
There’s a subtle Americana swagger to much of the performance, fused with a little something trip-hop-like and ambient. The completed track feels like a cinematic classic, a hit waiting to be the perfect outro to some new Sons of Anarchy spin-off.
Once introduced, there’s a plethora of original music to delve into from Matt Tipton. His latest album is the pristinely immersive, emotive and beautiful Stairs and Steps. In many ways, the artist comes into his own far more clearly during these recordings. A cleaner vocal finish, a crisp sense of intimacy, accompanies the loving and deeply contemplative nature of the lyrics.
The opening and title-track from the album is all of this, interesting enough to draw up thoughts of Damien Rice and Ben Howard, well-rounded and warm enough to settle in amidst some of the most engaging folk-pop songwriters out there – Jack Johnson came to mind on more than a few occasions, particularly in the vocal inflections and tone.
And what a voice it is – a blessing to listen to, naturally expressive yet soft and smooth enough to blend in seamlessly with the gorgeous guitar work and sound design surrounding it. The rise up and drop in is powerfully uplifting. And all of these are qualities that shine brightly throughout this notably eclectic yet solid project.
Between The Palm and The Pine is another early highlight – great riffs, strong yet subtle production choices that keep things addictive and bold. Truth Or Treason is immediately another, and a personal favourite. The reality though, is that all fourteen songs are quite stunning in their own way. This is one of those rare occasions in which a new (to me) indie artist offers up precisely the passionate, compelling escapism that real music fans crave.
An absolute classic of an album, an easy highlight for 2020 so far, and it’s a blessing to have such an incredible songwriter on the radar. Beautifully done.