Album Reviews

Matt The Electrician

The Doubles

Artist:     Matt The Electrician

Album:     The Doubles

Label:     Matt The Electrician

Release Date:     06/09/2017

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For two decades, Austin TX singer-songwriter Matt Sever — you’ll know him as Matt The Electrician — has been cultivating a special blend of folk and pop, gaining a loyal fanbase in the process. On his tenth album, The Doubles, released last month, Matt offers a two-disc compilation of original tracks first interpreted and recorded on the first disc, the second disc featuring each song reimagined with additional vocals and extra instrumentation for newly developed versions.

On Disc 1’s opening track The Bear, Matt playfully relays a story with inquisitive lyrics like “I wonder if this is what Heaven is like / What if it means I’m more dead than alive?” over a deep banjo line. Conversely, Disc 2’s version finds Matt wrangling a sparse folk tune with a shaky, melancholy voice singing above light guitar strums. The Doubles‘s second track, “Never Had A Gun,” is an impassioned sing-along led by fast-paced layered strings, while Disc 2’s second track, “It’s A Beacon, It’s A Bell” pulses with insistent plucks of guitar and light harmony. “The Party” (the original and reimagined version) is the stand-out track on this record. With swelling harmonies and vocalizing, the track beats with varying rhythms, mimicked on Disc 2’s version which features shimmers of percussion and three-part harmony.

On “I Cannot Read Your Mind,” Matt broods a moody country tune a la Bob Dylan. On the trio version, sparkling guitar aids his gruff but vulnerable vocals for a melodic performance. The Doubles‘s first disc ends with “Live To Fight,” a multi-instrumental heaven. A pop piano rhythm joins beating percussion for an upbeat choral singalong. “Live To Fight (Trio)” softens, Matt’s vocals less polished but full of emotion over sharp strums and sparse rhythms. Disc 2 of The Doubles ends with a sweet, poignant cover of Paul Simon’s “American Tune.”

The Doubles allows Matt The Electrician to pay homage to his original work while developing them further, a meticulous and admirable process made possible by unrivaled vocal and instrumental creativity.

–Savannah Davanzo

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