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Some music, when you hear the first few notes, really speaks to you—right from that first moment. I felt that when I started listening to Matt Kjeldsen’s Last Days. Matt’s an extremely prolific writer, so he has tons of music out there for your listening pleasure. According to the press release for this newest EP, Kjeldsen has a passion for composing licensed music—the stuff you hear in movies and on TV.
This is definitely music from a career musician, and you hear the talent in every note on Last Days, which is a collection of songs that have a touch of a country music feeling to them. The first couple songs reminded me of Glen Campbell. But this isn’t a country album—I want to specify that right from the beginning. This singer/songwriter’s music has an eclectic sound, which you’ll learn about as I describe each of the five songs on this EP.
“Closer To Texas” is the first track. While the title and the lyrics give it a country feel, I felt this song was better described as a classic singer/songwriter tune. It’s a beautiful song that made me think of Glen Campbell (as I already mentioned). This song is beautiful. The lyrics tell a story, of love and broken hearts—of moving on, and of coming back. The vocals on this song as crisp and easy to listen to. Toward the end, the guitars really start to give you more of that twangy, classic country sound—but I feel like the song is so balanced between genres that even people that might not be that into country music can get the message and enjoy the tune.
“I Should Know Me Better Than That By Now” is another song that has a country feel—“I was just thinking, as I was drinking…” The lyrics lend themselves to a country song, but this is a song that will really make you think (and it’s about more than drinking). Kjeldsen is a great storyteller, and he knows how to talk about love and life in songs in a way that you can’t help but relate.
“Last Days” is like a medieval ballad but made for current times. It’s a song that made me think of Ren fair musical performances… probably because he talks about Rome in the story of the lyrics. Every lyric this musician writes seems to lead to a complete story—and you can’t help but want to listen to the entire song and know how it will end.
“What Once Was” has a Leonard Cohen vibe to it. It’s a darker tune, or it sounds darker anyway. It sounds like something that would work amazingly in a scary movie when things start to go wrong. I love the vocals on this track, with that deeper gritty sound. The lyrics about everything crumbling adds to its darkness, and the backward record scratching sound (I have no idea how else to describe it) is both eerie and ominous.
The final track of the EP is titled “Ghosts And Shadows.” This track is also different than the other tracks on the album. This one has a bit of a misty rock sound, kind of a Great White’s “Old Rose Motel” feel to it. It’s tied as my favorite track with the one before it. I like the rock edge to this one.
You can check out all of these songs on Bandcamp. I highly recommend this for anyone that likes music that is well-made. From the vocals to the smallest details of the instruments, this is an album that shows that the person making it is talented and loves what they do.
If you like this music review, please take a moment to check out some more of my reviews of awesome tunes here on Vocal/Beat. I have new reviews up almost weekly. You’ll find an array of musical genres covered, so you’re bound to find something you like.