Northumberland based singer song writer Matt Dunbar began his musical career as part of cult local group Mad & The Hatters before the group disbanded in 2013. Following a three-year spell in university, Matt returns to music with the release of his debut, solo, EP ‘Home’. Opening with the words ‘I’m sick of people telling me how to live my life’ ‘Home’ proves to be a lush record of folk rock songs that display considered personal reflections alongside disciplined music production.
Stand out tracks ‘Bridget Jones Diary’ and ‘Just a dream’ offer layers of gentle instrumentation which provide a strong foundation for Dunbar’s sensitive, Jeff Buckley esque vocals and his thoughtful, big picture questions raised in the song writing. ‘Bridget’ offers the most structured narrative on the record with an argument against machismo, recklessness and ‘fucking around in bars’. With it’s clever lyrical insights, orchestral backing and multi tracking vocals it sounds less Bob Dylan folk and more Paddy Macaloon/Prefab Sprout folk; which is to say folk disguised inside of a pop melody.
The remaining 4 tracks, particularly ‘Moment in time’ and ‘Here comes the brave’ are more traditionally acoustic singer song writer, maintaining the insights of Bridget and Just, but being stripped, almost, right back to just a voice and an instrument.
As a debut EP, this is a great place to build from.
Quick footnote to my favourite lyrics ‘I’ll have to work at Dixons if I finish with a third’. Brilliant.