A singer-songwriter isn’t hard to come by. The reason being there isn’t one specific type of singer-songwriter. From a classic rock standpoint, if you look at Billy Joel, he is completely different from Neil Young. And then you have John Mellencamp who is a contradiction in himself with all the different routes he’s taken. Essentially any singer, preferably as a solo act or who performs under his own name with a good band behind him, and writes his own music is a singer songwriter. It’s a good singer-songwriter that isn’t easy to come by. I haven’t been given many albums by singer-songwriters, this review on Matthew Heller may be my first time reviewing one.
Matthew Heller’s EP Tragedy Town may be only four songs long, but he sure shows some interesting technique as a songwriter. Tragedy Town’s first track Ray Gun sounds like your typical indie rock song. Maybe a little goofy, surprisingly not too forgettable, though it doesn’t stick around the way I’m sure the band intended, but it has some good guitar playing in it, which I believe is where the song writing of this song excels.
It’s the second track, the title track to Tragedy Town where I believe the song writing that makes this EP somewhat of a gem first appears. The song is slow, and very melodic. If I had one complaint about the song it’s that it’s about a minute too long. If listening to it in the wrong mood, your attention can kind of trail off, but if truly appreciated, the songs chord progressions and singing melodies can be quite entertaining.
No Army has a mixture of acoustic and electric guitars. It kind of sounds like a twist on your typical folk song in that it’s a bit faster than an average song of this one’s caliber. I’d consider it a folky song in that it’s filled with instruments such as a string section, but the instruments aren’t loud and the vocals seem to be the main standpoint of the song.
The EPs closer Fault Line brings out the piano. The entire song is piano driven, definitely the slowest and softest song on the album and I think it puts everything into perspective pretty well. It’s just as well written of a song as any of the others on the album, it’s melodies are just as good. It does however have more heart than the rest of the songs on Tragedy town which makes it a special track for more reasons than just the added piano.
Many different styles are explored in these four tracks which impresses me, because that’s what I believe more up and coming artists should do, rather than release a 4four or five song demo where all the songs can sound alike. I enjoy Matthew Heller’s music. I feel he has a lot to show on these four tracks and hopefully more to show in the future to come.
“Tragedy Town” – Despite its slight tendency to trail off of my attention every now and then when I listen to it, the title track to Tragedy Town is the song that best sums up the four songs on the album. It is soft, but has a full band of musicians playing and I think it best showcases the musical song writing capabilities and the song is kind of hard to categorize, just like the EP in general.
7 (Out of 10)
|2||Tragedy Town||Matthew Heller||5:52|
|3||No Army||Matthew Heller||3:26|
|4||Fault Line||Matthew Heller||3:01|