Matthew Browning’s Underneath The Willow Tree features a post-seven-minute story-line and a gradually rising sense of musical intensity and weight. The accompanying video is a beautifully shot series of clips, alternating between a full band performance and the woman at the heart of the story.
Browning’s own performance is clearly loaded with passion, underlining an inherent connection to these words and the emotions associated with them. The song itself works just as well being the audio journey that it is. The music evolves throughout, never exceeding the heartfelt delicacy that began it, but building up nonetheless to highlight the progression and the change within.
By the later stages, there’s a fine fusion of rock guitars and cello-led organic moments, never quite leaning in one particular direction or another, genre-wise. During the final moments, the song breaks away to the far more up front and personal – an unexpected instance of rawness, something of a country-folk sound to see things to their finish. Browning’s voice delivers flawlessly throughout, whether the moment is heavy or much softer – his vocal style holds that ability to cater to the needs of the song, and this carries it well. The story-line is fascinating and the music lets it work its magic in a natural way.