Echoes and Dust 2012

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The lovely Dan from Echoes and Dust had this to say:

Way back in the spring of 2010 we got one of those out-of-the-blue CDs from a Leeds based singer songwriter called Matt Bentley that blew our socks off. It combined beautifully crafted songs with an angelic singing voice perfectly. Fast forward a few years and we now have ‘Something To Find’, Matt’s follow up to that album; exciting.

The first thing that is apparent is THAT voice is still firmly in place. In fact, if anything, it has matured slightly; the range has improved and the tone has gained depth. In song writing terms, the album comprises a similar blend of contemplative introspection and wry observation that made up ‘Entropy’ except here it seems that sad songs are sadder and the jollier songs are even jollier.

For example, ‘Down’ is punctuated by almost ska like brass stabs and skips along at an almost danceable pace. However, the song that follows, ‘Only One Night’, starts stripped right back to acoustic guitar and voice and is utterly heartrending in its plaintive honesty; the lonesome strings introduced towards the end only enhance the feeling of melancholy.

If I have one bone to pick it’s that perhaps there’s nothing on this collection that carries quite the hook that tracks like ‘Sacrifice’ or ‘Little Johnny’ did on the first record but this is a small gripe really as the quality of the writing, playing and production (improved tenfold from ‘Entropy’) are all still very high indeed.

Overall ‘Something To Find’ does feel like an evolutionary step, perhaps even a growing up, from ‘Entropy’ and there is no doubt at all that Bentley is a hugely talented songwriter but what makes this album stand out from the crowd is the voice. It is truly something special indeed and personally I’d be happy to sit and listen to him sing the telephone directory, so that fact that it’s used to front this great collection of songs just makes it all the better.

Posted by Dan