Thursday, May 25, 2017

Matthew Edwards & The Unfortunates - "Folklore" (Gare du Nord Records)




Matthew Edwards & The Unfortunates - "Folklore"  (Gare du Nord Records)

Matthew Edwards, I think, is the son or nephew of David Bowie or/and Howard Devoto.   Just the opening song "Birmingham" alone can bring him to the world of champions.  A beautiful song with a gorgeous lyric.  A narrative of sorts, but more of a mysterious Alain Robbe-Grillet plot.  Devoto's Magazine comes to mind mostly due to that Edwards and his group The Unfortunates know an excellent orchestration.  They work as a unit and serve Edwards' vocals and songs.  My type of band.

"When We Arrived at the Mountain" has a Bowie era "Man Who Sold The World" vibe, but by no means is Edwards digging into another's world.  The music here is very much part of his DNA, and he's a great singer and lyricist.  Weary of the world around him, he's romantic, but one gets the feeling that the singer/narrator will get burned again.  It's an album of reflection, but very pop and there lies the beauty of "Folklore."

The playing on the album is very layered, and hearing the organ on "I can Move the Moon" is very Zombies-like in that it conveys a storm among the aural delights that are this song.  The electric organ on some of the songs drives me wild.  This is a very sophisticated world that Matthews is skipping into, which is a landscape of memories, some regret, but the eyes are going toward the future as well.   "Folklore" is easy to the ears, but the tunes will stick in one's head for a long while.  Ten songs that move from one end to the other with economy and taste as if  Marcel Proust made a rock record.    Noir-pop played excellently, and Edwards is going to take his band and music on another plane.  It's a remarkable album.  This and Perfume Genius are the only new music that I love at the moment.




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