As summer approaches, I spend my days outside more often than inside. Today I also sit on grass surrounded by my birds and animals, being a daydreaming watchman hiding in a nook shielding myself from the still very cool wind. This time however I’m accompanied by a fresh album full of psychedelic solid songs as liquid and yet well-formed as the constant movement around me. So I’ll try to stop myself from gazing at the skies for a bit and introduce you to this new release and the artist behind it.
Born in Australia and now based in California like many creatives, Matthew Liam Nicholson is a creator of some of the most artful and mystifying folk rock out there. He has previously released under monikers AT/ALL, Function (Ensemble) and Outshine Family & the Golden Lifestyle Band, and now the artist and composer has moved on to releasing music under his own name. So far he has released 5 singles showing listeners a glimpse of his beautiful cinematic folk rock sound and its many facets. Speaking of the singles, they are actually part of a much bigger body of work. His debut full-length album!
The album is titled “Universal Outsider“, a shimmering folk rock beauty that’s been in the works for the last 5 years. Home to 13 small universes, each song offers a multidimensional sonic landscape, and a different story told through poetic lyricism. It’s a heavily layered release full of nearly orchestral compositions, which along with the warm-bodied instrumentation and the mystical yet cozy vocals promise to never stop surprising with something new discovered through repeated listens. It also sounds timeless and busily vibeful almost in the way I imagine California to be.
It’s also a really solid album, as I can’t really pick out a song without feeling like “But that song also deserves the spotlight”. However, I would say one of my favourite songs from this is probably “Iron Bird“, for the chilled percussion and summery cozy atmosphere, and I particularly like how the vocals sound here. That, along with the moments of simply flowing in the beatless heavens make it for such a perfect “it’s been a wonderful day” song. “The Worm Turns” is another song with a beautiful dreamy quality to it. Combining vibrant all-immersive guitars and layered vocals with driving beat that speeds up before it slows down again, it’s a whole journey, and I just love the quivering sound.
I could go on speaking about how “Red Hook” is such a beautiful moody song bringing forth waves of goosebumps with those incredible vocals and sustained notes, or how “Hanalei” is an incredible album opener with its expansive instrumentation that knows how to set up anticipation, or how the soft, slowpaced and meditative, “Lost to Begin With” makes for a perfect ending track. Instead I’m gonna stop here, and invite you to listen to the album yourselves. I’m certain this album will worm its way into your playlists, especially when you’re a fan of folk rock or dreamy indie rock, love psychedelic music and adore orchestral and cinematic compositions.
Don’t forget to support this project and to follow on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, SoundCloud, and Spotify. You can also check out his official website. If you enjoy this music and are able to provide monetary support, you might consider downloading it on Bandcamp.
You can obviously find it in the following Playlists: Less Than 1,000 Followers, Fresh Singles, Indie Only, Alterindie State Of Mind, Chill – Folk – Acoustic, 12 New Songs This Week, Sickest & Dopest, Track Of The Day, Take It Easy, and, 9 Albums/EPs Week 20.
P.S. If you enjoy discovering new artists and fresh new music you can subscribe to this blog Less Than 1,000 Followers and follow the Playlist with all the artists that we have presented here!!!
This coverage was created via MusoSoup #Sustainablecurator