Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Reviews:: Matt Paxton City of Smoke EP

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I’ve got to tip my hat to the people at Down by the Point records. In an age where actually paying for music is a bit passé (we call this stupid phenomenon, blogger entitlement), this Hamilton based outfit is really trying to grab your attention and embrace that whole "good music will get heard" idea. Case in point - Matt Paxton.

Instead of worrying about making cash and selling records, Matt’s taking the grass roots approach and giving fans as much music as they can handle. Videos, blogs, demos; this Hamiltonian is constantly offering music fans the chance to hear his work, hoping to win folks over and after an extended sit down with his new EP – City of Smoke – color me impressed.

Technically, he’s a singer songwriter but his music offers a lot more depth than your conventional coffee house entertainer. Matt’s dusty, slow burn is beefed up with a terrific cast of players (notable session musician Bill Dillon plays on the record as well as Tim Gibbons) and the result is tracks full of textures and maturity. Instead of simple acoustic numbers, you hear songs like Down the Mountain as a Train, City of Smoke and Those Old Red Moons; numbers pushed along by drums and filled out with reverbed electric guitar work or transformed by atmospheric steel.

The intricate arrangements let Paxton’s voice smolder without losing the listener. The beautiful sounds give him the time he needs to draw you in with his emotions. Paxton is a natural story teller and his songs create those hard to forget, snapshots in time. He’s got the unique ability to make you want to listen to what he’s saying. For some reason, even though I’m pretty unfamiliar with his work, he sounds familiar and comfortable to me. Just take 4 minutes and listen to the EP standout, My Love (Comes from the End of the Road). You won't be sorry.

Posted at 8:15 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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