Matthew and the Atlas stole my ear a while back when I first heard their song “I Will Remain”. A couple weeks ago I saw they had a debut album coming out, and was super pumped. Sadly that enthusiasm did not end up being exactly what I had hoped for, as the album differs from what I am used to hearing. Matthew took the group in a direction that differentiates from the folk path by a longshot. His incorporation of electronic synthesizers and beats kills the folk vibe much more than I wish to admit. I appreciate him trying new things, but the new album is so-so in its attempts to swoon a different genre than just folk.
Matthew and the Atlas opens up their debut album, four years after their initial signing with Communion Records might I add, with a traditional sounding folk melody with soft-spoken lyrics, and a seemingly over-generic background beat that portrays a reminiscent rock style. As the audio waves go back and forth nothing too catchy pops out, just some lyrics that try and fill a gap during the song and a chorus line of “Ooh”. “Into Gold” left a rather bitter taste and thankfully didn’t set a precedent for the whole album. But alas the inevitable banjo comes in out of nowhere and tries to tie the whole song together into a folkier mix of genres.