Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Matt Costa

Singer songwriters are a dime a dozen, and usually come from the same recipe: Add a splash of Beatles, a cup of Donovan, a heaping tablespoon of Dylan, stir and let sit for 30 minutes. Serve with a hint of Simon and the Garfunk. What makes a singer/songwriter stand out is how these ingredients are blended together.

Enter Matt Costa. Matt’s style is heavily influenced by all the aforementioned artists, yet his music never seems like he is trying to replicate their sounds. I first heard Matt on “A BrokeDown Melody”. Whenever you grab a surf DVD, especially one from The MoonShine Conspiracy, you know you are going to get a good mix of acoustic funk and reggae. Matt’s song “The Road” stood out as my favorite in this film (which is not bad considering the film featured cuts by M. Ward, Kings of Convenience and enough Dub Reggae to make anyone scream “Irie”). I went online and found his self-titled, home recorded EP and was equally blown away. The first track, “Astair”, grabs you right away. Reminiscent of Paul Simon, the delicate finger-picked melody syncs up with Matt’s voice perfectly. The next song is a rootsy-folk number called “Acting like fool”. The drum accompaniment drives this upbeat song along, and gets you tapping your feet. Considering he is acting like the neighborhood slut and giving it away for free (on his Web site –, this EP is worth a listen.

2005 has been a big year for Matt Costa. He released another EP as well as his first full length CD entitled Songs We Sing. His music showed up on MTV Road Rules and he hit the road with Jack Johnson and ALO for the Brushfire tour. Unless you live under a “hate surfer style music” rock, you probably have Jack’s albums and go to his shows, so for Matt to get to play in front of 30,000 people that believe Jack can do no wrong certainly won him some new fans. The cover version of “Two of Us” he and Jack played on tour was a heavy download and people started taking an interest in Matt’s solo music. He’s even featured in the recently released Jack Johnson double disc concert DVD.

Songs We Sing is a much more polished effort, and the multi-instrumentation gives this record more of a Beatles feel. You can’t help of think of the Liverpool foursome when the punchy sounds of “Oh Dear” starts playing, especially when the army march style drumming kicks in. The spacey, airy piano and simple acoustic riff lets Matt’s unique voice dominate on the great track, “Yellow Taxi Cab”. The songs on this album all sound quite different, as evidenced by the indie-pop song, “Cold December”. Perhaps the catchiest song on this disc is “Sunshine”. I’m not sure how this song isn’t getting crazy airplay. It’s so catchy I would guess that Chris Page has it on his IPOD playlist sandwiched between Humps and Hollaback Girl.

Matt brings his sound to Richards on Richards on Monday. Tix are only $12.50 which is cheaper than a movie. Take a chance and come see him play. I mean, unless you are talking about the way a body should smell, 30,000 hippies can’t be wrong.

Posted at 3:00 PM by ack :: 0 comments

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