Putting my world on the line
Turning one leaf at a time
Never knowing what I’ll find
A man. A guitar. And a song.
It sounds simple, doesn’t it? And it is.
Scott Matthews’ new record, The Great Untold, is a career-defining masterpiece. The sixth studio album by the Ivor Novello Award-winning singer-songwriter is the one that many have craved: it is a masterclass in honesty, instinct and reflection.
A largely acoustic recording, Matthews’ sublime new record features sparse production. Recorded at home and in acoustically resonant rural churches, instrumentation has been jettisoned. His ten-song cycle is the sound of a man comfortable in his own skin, putting his neck on the line with a collection of otherworldly songs.
The ghosts of Paul Simon, Tim Buckley, Nick Drake and John Martyn loom large on a collection that ranks alongside work by some of the world’s great singer-songwriters. On his sixth record, Matthews has created songs that are breathtaking in their beauty and audacious in their simplicity.
The absence of drums, bass, cello and flute on The Great Untold, however, should not infer that it lacks depth. Far from it. The richness in Matthews’ new work comes from subtle playing and mellifluous melodies. He has improved again. He has become a master of his craft; a man who can play like Bert Jansch, sing like an angel and write songs that Joni Mitchell might admire.