When my colleague Kerri suggested I might want to go see Matthew and Me at The Lexington because ‘they sound like the kind of thing you might like’, I reacted with near irritation. ‘Well hang on a minute’, I thought adamantly, ‘how would you know what I like? And do I detect a hint of judgy undertone here’? (When you work in an office of musicians this is quite common). I hadn’t heard of Matthew and Me but had a perverse desire to prove my colleague wrong, so I looked them up (secretly hoping that I’d be unmoved) and after one song, immediately thought, ‘Damn, you’re right, I really do like them. And a lot too…stupid Kerri’.
Showcasing new material from EP: ‘Startpoint’, released earlier in the day, the quartet from Totnes, Devon are met with an enthusiastic and excitable crowd here at The Lexington. The band have been active since 2011 but this recent release, produced by Chris Bond, is their most ambitious and anticipated to date.
With smooth, soaring vocals not too dissimilar to Brian Briggs of Stornoway or Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes, and instrumental arrangements with hallmarks of Sigur Ros and Mt. Wolf, the result is serene and uplifting alt-pop for the most part, with frequent forays into ambient, impactful instrumentals that hit a little deeper. Final track ‘Joy’, from their new EP, is just that – take a moment, their EP is well worth a listen.
Tonight, their musicianship is on point; Lucy Fawcett provides natural, considered drumming and there’s some lovely interactions between guitarist/vocalist Matthew Board and bassist Sam. The only downside was that they didn’t play for long enough.
Startpoint is out now on Beatnik Creative.
Writer and Photographer: Will Steadman: @steadman_will