I Wasn’t Looking For Love –  Matt Saxton (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

matt-saxton-e1483456274353Last month the wonderfully kooky Occam’s Razor, a strange blend of musical whimsy and archaic philosophical referencing, caught my ear and so it seemed only natural that when Matt Saxton’s latest full album saw the light of day it should make the “to do” list without hesitation. And I’m glad it did. I Wasn’t Looking For Love revels that Matt isn’t just about the jaunty japery, whilst he is great at charging songs with a wonderful bounce and accessibility, there is a lot more to his music than Occam’s Razor first suggests.

The title track, for instance, is an emotive pop ballad, an understated paean to the night he met his wife, a song which slow burns its way towards a wonderful crescendo by gradually added depth and texture, evocative and deft musical lines and cool harmonies. At the other extreme Where Are You Now is dressed for carnival, all African infused guitar cascades, island beats and calypso grooves. The charm of the album lies in Matt’s ability to take sensitive subjects, both personal and universal and express some wonderful inner truth in a new and eloquent way, whether it is reflecting on past relationships, everlasting family bonds and just the stuff of life, love, loss, longing and the like.

Musically it sits in that classic singer songwriter canon, wandering between English folk, mid-Atlantic acoustic pop and American roots influences, it even tips a natty fedora in Neil Young’s direction, which is always going to get my vote. I Wasn’t looking For Love balances the often overdone “guy with a guitar” vibe with some wonderful instrumentation and musical motifs, enough sonic detail and wonderful design to keep things interesting but enough space that the songs are framed perfectly.

Occam’s Razor states that the simplest way forward is the simplest and in a way that is what Matt does here, the hand isn’t overplayed, the music is both subtle and supple and the overall affect is chilled but engaging, something that is only possible when you have the ability to write really great songs in the first place.

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Occam’s Razor  –  Matt Saxton (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

artworks-000246836708-nqwi8f-t500x500I’m always going to be a sucker for a song which mixes medieval philosophical principles with jaunty contemporary music, I can’t be the only one, I like my academia but I like it groovy. And that is just what Matt Saxton delivers with Occam’s Razor, a kooky little acoustic-pop number which delves into the idea of mid-life crisis and does so by way of some name dropping. But this is name dropping with a difference. No Z list celebrity references or glitterati glamourising, here the clever and the cool are the likes of Soren Kierkegaard, Jean-Paul Sartre as well as the titular Occam.

It’s a lilting little number which shuffles and grooves its way through an acoustic pop-rock landscape, but is essentially about delivering the message rather than any outlandish musical adventures. That said the song is dressed with some lovely musical detail and motifs, electric guitars meander about in the middle distance and the beat keeps things bouncy and buoyant. With a full album following along very soon, Matt Saxton is certainly an artist to keep an eye on, not just for the clever references and pseudo academia that beats at its heart. At a time when music is struggling to rise above a certain lowest common denominator, it is nice to find someone who thinks about outside the box.

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