Review of Into The Flame EP by Matt Corby

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. 

Matt Corby Into The Flame EP

'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.

Hannah Spencer

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