Scott Matthews - Elusive

Mike Caulfield 25/09/2006

Rating: 4/5

Having recently supported the Foo Fighters at their recent pre-Hyde Park warm up shows and just completed a successful solo tour of his own, Scott Matthews releases his debut single, 'Elusive', on a wave of broadsheet-superlatives and over-zealous radio disc-jockey hype.

Matthews' voice has a affectionate, velvety tone that recalls some of Jeff Buckley's less operatic moments, and has also found comparisons to seventies folk veteran John Martyn, both of whom share a lyrical style that's heavy on romantic imagery and walks a rather thin line between being overly-sentimental, and just being thoughtful, thankfully Matthews appears on the right side. Matthews' delicately strummed acoustic guitar lends itself perfectly to a sparse backdrop of well-crafted vocal harmonies, piano embellishment and sporadic double bass depth.

B-side 'The Wasp and the Jar' follows in similar fashion, albeit with more of a relaxed arrangement that, whilst lacking the immediacy of the A-side, doesn't suggest that it was one of the albums throwaway tracks and hints towards an artist with more than tender introspective tunes in his repertoire.

An interesting debut single from the Midlands-born singer/songwriter and definitely one of the more engaging singles to have come from the recent slew of heart-on-sleeves, acoustic troubadours.