Fuck me, this man is brilliant. Scott Matthews hails from Wolverhampton in England and burst onto the UK charts back in 2006 with his debut album, Passing Stranger. You might have heard the mournful single, Elusive, on Triple J and thought you were listening to some previously undiscovered Jeff Buckley. But Elusive is just the tip of the iceberg and barely begins to showcase Matthews’ talent.
Passing Stranger is a collection of beautifully crafted urban folk-rock gems. From crunchy blues riffs to sliding guitars to delicately picked melodies, Matthews has perfected his acoustic sound. Woven into his songs is an entire medley of unexpected instruments to keep you on your toes, including tablas and a French accordian – each track is a magical experiment.
Sometimes Gomez, sometimes Xavier Rudd, sometimes Pearl Jam, yet always Scott Matthews, the man hisself says he’s influenced largely by Jimmy Hendrix and John Frusciante (of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.) But going by his vocals (both sound and technique) I imagine him to be the love child of Eddie Vedder and Jeff Buckley. All stupendous musicians to draw parallels to, yet Matthews remains one of a kind.
Another unusual aspect of this album lies in the the instrumental interludes between full-length songs. “I liked the idea of this seamless quality,” Matthews says, “where even ‘dead spaces’ are interesting.”
Now I just have to get him to come to Australia.
Fave tracks: Dream Song, Sweet Scented Figure, Passing Stranger, & Prayers, but all of them are really excellent. Go listen now.