Photography: Damien Hyde

GIG
Scott Matthews 
6/10/21 – Leaf

After the release of his seventh studio album, New Skin, in December 2020, singer-songwriter SCOTT MATTHEWS embarks on a nationwide tour in an attempt to capture the hearts of listeners once again.

The new record sees the Ivor Novello award recipient depart from the quiet, acoustic, lonely sound which drew comparisons to American cult icon Jeff Buckley over the last decade. Instead, a large cinematic sound punctuates every second on this album. From droning synths, to drum notes that hold so much reverb they lay the foundations for which everything is built on New Skin.

At first glance, New Skin offers little to no comparison to Matthews’ earlier work. But his uncanny flair for finding melodies where others can’t is present once again. As the instrumentation blends together on New Skin, his voice manages to remain unscathed and as beautiful as ever. Massive instrumentation propels Matthews to new heights, resembling the very best of the arena sounds of The War On Drugs. Scattered drumbeats populate the record back-to-front, adding a Springsteen-esque cadence that is both unpredictable and exciting.

“I owe it to your heart, to give you every part” Matthews ruminates on My Selfless Moon, his voice sounding similar to Rufus Wainwright. Previous interviews have revealed that The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell are among his biggest influences, and it is clear to see their impact with how glorious melodies and chord changes work in tandem to create a special sound that dances its way into the ear drums.

There’s a notable difference between Matthews’ debut album, Passing Stranger (2006), and New Skin (2020), with the latter revealing the maturity of the singer-songwriter through deft lines full of vivid imagery and thought. “The past’s too a big a place to follow me now”, he sings over a looming guitar riff on Wait in the Car. Moreover, New Skin demonstrates that Matthews is fearless when encountering different melodies, determined to treat every one with care and consideration.

A Liverpool date sees him play Leaf on the Wednesday 6th October. It is exciting and with anticipation that fans new and old await how Matthews will create the huge anthemic sounds on New Skin in a live surrounding. His setlist is poised to remain a mixture of old and new material, proof that this record isn’t Matthews reinventing himself, but rather showcasing a new side to the artist. And if that isn’t enough then allow the old idiom to ring true – there are few certainties in life: death, taxes and a beautiful Scott Matthews performance.

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