It says something that in the three years since With Wolves The Lamb Will Lie came my way it has never yet found itself filed alongside its fellow musical platters but has remained lurking in rarefied company next to the stereo all this time. That speaks volumes especially in a house that sometimes feels more like an old school record shop that a place of dwelling. What I’m trying to say in my clumsy way is that it is an album that has aged brilliantly and set the benchmark very high for Matt to follow.
But we know that he is more than up to the task at hand, so aided and abetted by The Froe (it’s okay, I had to look it up as well) Blood Moon sees him wander down similarly exquisite acoustic paths as before. There is the same gentleness and glorious understatement found here as he takes simple song lines and charming narratives and wraps them in graceful strings and simmering harmonies. Night Driving says it all, a song forged from the absolute minimum echoing that wonderfully freeing experience of driving home at night under a big, star strewn sky along a near empty road.
It’s an approach that flows through the whole album, from the picked guitars, ghostly voices and swooning sweeps of the violins of Blood Moon to Giving Up the Ghost with that same space and reflection that I adore in Damien Rice’s best work and Soft Light’s lovely, slow burning build from the barely perceptible to the elegantly restrained. He’s not one for big musical statements and that is where the charm lies.
So that is another album that will not find a home for a long time and will just hang around within easy reach as lesser releases come and go around it. Some albums, I guess, are merely acquaintances, Matt’s records, however, quickly become good friends.