Imminently wrapping up a run of shows in America, Matt Corby is an Australian who was runner-up in Australian Idol as a precocious 16 year old in 2007. A run of EPs has led to this, his debut album, which the well-travelled songwriter will promote with UK shows in March, before heading into mainland Europe.
For someone with a television talent show background, Corby is refreshingly disinterested in simply producing commercial pop music. 'Belly Side Up' introduces him in with an alluring blend of soul and jazz, while 'Monday' adds a touch of gospel to back up a vocal style that is much more mature than you would expect of someone of his 25 years of age.
The most accomplished offering is 'Knife Edge', built on a scaling organ rift and sweeping chorus, but beyond this 'Telluric' fails to match the heights of a promising opening salvo. 'Wrong Man' and 'Do You No Harm' fail to engage in any manner, while attempts to recapture the warming soul from the lead of the record fail on 'Why Dream' and meandering 'Empires Attraction'. Unable to match the quality displayed early on, the record also suffers from a monotonous pace that curtails any initial enthusiasm and momentum.
Continue reading: Matt Corby - Telluric Album Review
Matt Corby's Into The Flame is a 19 minute tease of an EP from Australia's answer to Ben Howard offering both moments of serene beauty and heart wrenching passion. The delicate acoustic-folk sensitivity of the verse of opening track 'Brother' lulls the listener into a serene security, but, as the chorus intercepts, it really kicks in with a passionate bluesy growl emphasised by the stop time and strengthened by rumbling drums. Vocally, during the verse Corby's tone is delicate, soothing and unsuspecting, whilst during the chorus he changes gear into a much stronger tone flavoured with the rough-ness of the Followill brothers. In contrast, with a crunchy electric blues guitar intro, there's immediately more of a roots feel to 'Souls a'Fire'; slow paced and heart wrenching with exquisitely acrobatic, passionate vocals, Corby really shows off his vocal ability, all the time building interest and intensity and driving the track forward.
'Untitled', the third of this EP's four tracks' opens with teasing gentleness; delicate, barely-present guitar accompanying sedately whispered vocals. The track continues as a beautiful ballad sounding perfectly-pitched Buckley-esque falsetto over smooth Hammond organ tones. With 'Big Eyes', a duet with fellow Australian, Bree Tranter, Corby concludes the EP with his gentle singer songwriter blend delicately backed by chorused vocal harmonies. Sounding two subtle and tantalising vocalists side by side might be very Damien Rice and Lisa Hannigan, but it's an entrancing blend that builds with a repeated chorus; relaxing, calming, peaceful.
On first listen, the EP starts strongly with a real bluesy confidence, but then fades into something that, despite its lush calmness, lacks anything distinctly memorable, merely dusted with meandering melodies, but with every subsequent listen it grows and grows - a real tease.
Continue reading: Matt Corby - Into The Flame EP Review
The broad church that supports the collective assembly of Communion Records was only formed 6 years ago through the vision of Ben 'Mumford' Lovett, bassist Kevin Jones and producer Ian Grimble. From its early roots as a club night, it has now flourished into an umbrella that nurtures, produces and records some of the most interesting and individual emerging talents around. Communion Records has already had a helping hand in the development of Benjamin Francis Leftwich, Matthew And The Atlas, Alessi's Ark, Pete Roe and Lissie to name but a few. 'Communion: New Faces' represents the label's third full-length compilation and contains no less than 20 tracks from a diverse string of like-minded artists.
Continue reading: Various Artists, Communion: New Faces Album Review