Thursday, February 06, 2014

Kalle Mattson: "Someday, the Moon Will Be Gold" (album review)

Over the course of two independently released long-players, Sault Ste Marie-native Kalle Mattson has honed his craft.  He's been flying under the radar with some of the most gorgeous and mature folk-based rock that you will ever hear.

On February 11th, the now Ottawa-based Mattson will return with a third full length, Someday, The Moon Will Be Gold.

The most striking thing about Mattson's music is that for such a young songwriter, he shows the patience and attention to detail that you would expect of someone twice his age.  That manifests, most obviously, in "The Living & the Dead", with it's haunting atmosphere and seamless growth into a horn crescendo.

The imagery in these songs is as vivid as ever.  The dreamy "Darkness" is among the cuts that will carry you off to a different time and space.  Lyrically, "A Love Song To The City" is as much the work of a great poet and it is a storyteller.

The amps get cranked up a bit on this new record, adding some rock to the lush folk arrangements.  The drums kick hard on the opener "An American Dream".  Later, "Hurt People Hurt People" shows a new-found power pop side.  "The Moon Is Gold" is a far more out-there number, one that grinds away.

Folk is Mattson's bread and butter however.  The beautiful, wandering harmonica on "Eyes Speak" attest to that.  "Pick Me Up" is a delicious slice of singalong twang (think Ben Kweller).

With the increase in the volume, some of the nuance and layering that made the previous albums so intriguing has gotten lost in the mix.  That's unfortunate, and it makes Someday, The Moon Will Be Gold less off for it.

Kalle Mattson play the Dakota Tavern in Toronto on February 18th.

Best tracks: "Sound & Fury (A Dream Within A Dream)", "A Love Song To The City"

Track listing for Someday, The Moon Will Be Gold:
  • An American Dream
  • Darkness
  • The Living & the Dead
  • Sound & Fury (A Dream Within a Dream)
  • Hurt People Hurt People
  • Eyes Speak
  • The Moon Is Gold
  • God's Only Son
  • A Love Song To the City
  • Pick Me Up
  • In The Morning Light
  • Amelie

No comments: