MP3 Matt Boyer - Sukuinage
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6 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Acoustic, FOLK: Gentle
Songwriter Matt Boyer's EP Sukuinage is a bare and honest effort. Previously he has been a key member of Indianapolis group the Citizens Band, who aren't exactly household names here in Europe, but who had a good local following for their offerings of Americana and country rock. More recently though, Boyer found himself as a member of Sun Kil Moon, Mark Kozelek's latest project, which has racked up infinite amounts of positive press in the first half of 2004, and it was this role that brought him to Europe recently for a brief tour.
But all this hasn't gotten in the way of putting together his own CD, and in a way Sukuinage isn't a great surprise in style. Perhaps it shows more of a Kozelek influence than you'd expect, but Boyer was clearly a Red House Painters fan long before Sun Kil Moon came along; the pace of the six songs alone giving this away. Yet it never veers near imitation at all, for one thing because of the singing style, which is much more personable. And had Boyer never played in a band with Kozelek then any similarities would remain a passing comment, which is how it should be.
Overall, the feeling of this recording is very real and honest. All you can hear is the one acoustic guitar being strummed and caressed delicately, with the bare voice of Boyer sitting atop. There are no tricks to the formula but it makes for a pleasing listen. At times his vocal tone strays closely to that of Evan Dando (see 'Start This Thing Again' as a prime example), but again only in passing glimpses. Boyer just happens to possess a warm, storytelling nature, and it eases you through these tracks effortlessly.
And Sukuinage is by no means a depressing affair either. The pace of life definitely falls when you start the CD, but the guitar picking is decidedly pretty, and there is a level of hope running throughout too. When dealing with break-up material, there is a high risk of drowning in self-pity, but it never happens. Perhaps 'What Have You Done?' comes closest to this flaw, closing in at nearly seven minutes long, but apart from that, tracks like 'Displaced' can be morose or be filled with optimism depending upon your own disposition. So when on the look out for a stripped-down acoustic EP with enticing chord combinations, then Matt Boyer is well worth looking up.
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