Release Date: Jul 8, 2014
Record label: Woodsist
Genre(s): Singer/Songwriter, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Indie Pop, Experimental Rock, Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Indie Folk
Matt Kivel's Double Exposure was a deeply solitary record. The lyrics brimmed with death, stillness, pale horses, and Kivel recorded it largely alone, away from his other projects, Gap Dream and Princeton. It was initially difficult to tell if anyone else even noticed this stark, beautiful little gem--it came out in late 2013, a tough time for indie records, especially ones by new, unproven names.
Songwriter Matt Kivel turned away from his work with indie poppers Princeton and garage glam group Gap Dream to focus on his slowly forming solo music, initiating the world to his patient, thoughtful sounds with 2013's Double Exposure. The sounds on that album were graceful and unassuming, smartly wrought acoustic music that felt incredibly reserved but still managed to be connective in its blend of soft guitar strums, understated melodies, and tastefully spare electronic touches. The 2014 follow-up, Days of Being Wild, rocks out just a little more than its predecessor, but in this case rocking out is an extremely relative distinction.
On his last record, Double Exposure, Matt Kivel crafted a quiet, acoustic gem. There were some electronic flourishes, but it was mostly Kivel’s voice and the warm strum of acoustic guitar. But on Days of Being Wild, his first record for the Woodsist label, he stretches out his folk-pop songs in new ways. He brings in drums and electric guitar on tracks, filling them out with standard rock instrumentation without necessarily turning up the volume.
Review Summary: A stimulating piece of acoustic songwriting that flourishes more than it falters.Matt Kivel is a quietly confident songwriter. His music is minimal by nature, driven by acoustic finger plucking that is more artful than it is masterful. In other words, he’s not out to prove that he is the most complex musician in the world, but he pours plenty of emotion into his work, which compensates for what can easily be perceived as a lack of variety.