I love a great, simple singer-songwriter sound. Something that tells a story and is full of feeling. This new EP from Matt Townsend fits the bill. It’s part of a two-part EP series, featuring some of Western North Carolina’s (where Townsend hails from) finest musicians, including Bill Berg (Drums on Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks) River Guerguerian, Kat Williams, Franklin Keel, Jackson Dulaney, Carly Taich, Charles Gately (Doc Aquatic), Ryan Burns.
The first track, of five, “The Great American Madness,” made me think of John Denver. It has that folksy feel to it with lyrics that fit into country, Americana, and folk stylings. You could also compare the vocals to Bob Dylan, on a good day. The harmony vocals on this song are what stood out the most to me.
“Came Down From The Mountain” is the second song on this EP. This song picks up the beat a minute into the song, but it still has that folk sound, even with such an array of instruments backing up the songwriter's vocals. Each song’s lyrics seem to tell a story, a common trait when it comes to these types of songs. If you like music that is more than just some random lyrics thrown together, music that takes the time to actually make sense of life in the lyrics, this is music you will enjoy.
Give it a listen (and purchase it) here:
“Roaming Twilight” is very mellow, and the symphonic sounds in the background give it kind of a dreamy undertone. “I know not what I seek” sounds like words in my own life. You’ll be pondering life and nature as you listen to this track. I’d hate to fall asleep while this song is playing, but some of my favorite bands are on my “sleep” playlist, and this song would fit well. It has a very relaxing beat.
“Freedom Is Calling” falls back into the country roots sound while bringing Townsend’s vocal back to that Dylan-esque tone. This song has some more intricate lyrical patterns but remains interesting. It gets up to a nice powerful crescendo when “my freedom is calling again.” “Your life is just a number in the land of the free,” hits a chord with me. I feel like our freedoms aren’t what they used to be or should be, so this song seriously hits the ball out of the park.
The last song on this EP is “Katie,” and it starts with a harmonica. Dating a musician that plays a mean harmonica has made it so I swoon each time this little instrument gets a blow. The lyrics to the song are lovely, yet sad (which makes the harmonica a good place to begin).
This EP came out a few months ago (in December) and I am already itching for the second part to come out. From what it looks like, while this half sticks to more of a mellow, acoustic styling, the other half is going to be very guitar driven rock. I like both sounds, being a fan of all kinds of music. I feel, if someone only likes certain genres of music then they aren’t really a music lover.
If you want to learn more about Matt Townsend and his music you can check out his website. I am definitely a fan now, and I will be keeping abreast of this musician’s plans, releases, and touring. Would be awesome to see him come to Grand Rapids, Michigan, sometime. He’d be a good fit in a club/restaurant like One Trick Pony.
If you like country, folk, singer-songwriter, Americana, or any music that is mellow and full of feeling, you will dig this EP. It has it all, and then some.