Matthew Hough is a renowned, fifteen-year veteran of New York City’s eclectic music scene. He has more than fulfilled his prior musical desires performing as an electric guitarist, vocalist and composer, throughout the region, and When Summer Ends marks the artist’s first foray into pop songwriting. The creation of this new project coincides with his recent relocation to the San Francisco Bay Area. The songs on the album are a fusion of real life experiences and the inner thoughts and fantasies of the song writer.
This debut project from the experienced musician is one that offers a refreshingly uplifting array of dream-like soundscapes; a peaceful and captivating performance of ideas, lightly soaked in reverb, putting forth a powerful sort of softness. The sound of the music and the songs is one thing, but the structure – the unique and creative manner in which the artist has crafted these tracks, is something else entirely.
A Secret Love is a superb example of this. Within just over three minutes, the music manages to capture and shift your mood from one reality to the next. Whether it’s the chord changes, the build up, the break down, or just the hypnotic way in which he presents his melodies and thoughts – the music takes over you. Despite the the electronic or trip-hop like nature of this particular song, it feels overwhelmingly real, and this feeling is something that lasts throughout his songs.
This Love is again something completely unexpected. There’s a rather raw and organic feel to this track, the guitar is so simplistic, but those vocals, weaving in and out of one another, and the harmonies; the impact is huge, which is beautiful, and very impressive considering the minimalist instrumentation in this particular piece.
One thing that is particularly striking about Matthew Hough’s songwriting is the sheer freshness of his melodies and the ways in which he uses them. At a time in which the music industry is so heavily saturated with songs, it’s almost impossible to discover something that sounds completely new, but that’s exactly what this artist has created. His melodies, and in fact, his songs in general, do not follow the expected or regular path of what is often considered to be the way to write a successful song. His music throws these rules to the ground, it creates something completely unheard of, and not at all at the sacrifice of any effectiveness or value.
These songs are mesmerising. It’s as though every moment is some brand new kind of writing and ambiance. Believe In You is an incredibly stunning song, which brilliantly underlines this fact. The structure of the song is something so new; it’s undeniably Matthew Hough’s chosen style, after having heard a good variety of his songs, but in no way does this make it predictable.
The music washes over it’s audience entirely, and it’s compelling, because although it has the effect of comforting you, relaxing you as you listen, it also makes you very aware that there is no room for complacency – you don’t know what will come next, you’re not calm because the chorus is approaching, you’re just intrigued and involved in the music, so your desire is to follow it along. It’s such a unique effect and is genuinely a pleasure to listen to.
The sound is entirely unusual, and yet, beautifully effective with every moment that passes – which is just a wonderful thing to experience for anyone who loves and appreciates real art. It’s music that begs to be turned up loud; enjoyed in it’s fullness, paid thorough attention to, and hopefully, one day soon, witnessed as part of a live performance. There’s an honesty embedded in the sound, and it’s amplified by the beauty of the artist’s inherent creativity. It’s something so valuable, a definite kind of passion that shines through in the work that is presented.
“I really just wanted to put myself out there more. There’s something about singing and singing your own words in particular
that is so vulnerable. There’s nowhere to hide.” – Matthew Hough.