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Review: 'OWENS, MATT'
'Whiskey And Orchids'   

-  Label: 'Self Released'
-  Genre: 'Folk' -  Release Date: '11th January 2019'

Our Rating:
This is the debut solo album from a British singer-songwriter who was a founder member of folk-pop band Noah And The Whale and leader of the more rock orientated Little Mammoths. Since I'm unfamiliar with either band I approached this album with a blank slate and was not much the wiser after I finished listening.

Although born in London, there's a Celtic lilt to the tunes but while Owens strains gamely for something profound there's precious little that makes any of the eleven tracks truly memorable.

"I lean towards songs where you feel you're being told you probably shouldn't be being told" he announces enigmatically. This implies a level of confessional sing writing which is not really evident.

There's a song for his strong-minded wife (Little Tornado), his grandfather Last Play Of The Day and a knackered old piano.

The title track, the oldest song here, is about being in a horrible relationship which can't be rescued by flowers or booze. Lay Down Honey features the voice of Thea Gilmore (see video).

One Fuck Of A Year was initially conceived as a celebratory Christmas song but, as the title suggests, Owens struggles to find many reasons for festive cheer.

Most of the songs have a similarly disillusioned subtext and while World Won't Wait has a greater sense of urgency, it's not enough to redeem a fairly bland and characterless set of tunes.

Matt Owens' website
  author: Martin Raybould

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OWENS, MATT - Whiskey And Orchids