Album Review: Alanna Matty – Ante Meridiem

September 18, 2014
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10711739_10154652919375245_491028491_nTitle: Ante Meridiem
Artist: Alanna Matty
Record Label: Independent
Date: 
August 2014
In One Word: Evolved

In this generation it seems as if there’s one criterion in which a solo musician lacks. The rawness and pureness of a smooth single acoustic guitar set is always soothing to the ear; however, experimenting with the music listeners are already comfortable with might set the musician a side from the rest. Listeners want more, they want to be able to hear a wide variety of instruments within one tune.

Alanna Matty has expanded her solo career by introducing her band on her new album, Ante Meridiem. Band mates Ross Burant (guitar), Alex Furlott (bass), Jordan Zagerman (drums) and Kelsey Bhatia (back-up vocals) are what make this album extraordinary. Matty’s previous EP, A Song For My Love, was a soft yet breathtaking mix of tracks of just the musician and her instrument and listeners loved every second of it. The add-on of a band is what makes her latest full-length album, Ante Meridiem one of my favourite albums from an indie musician.

Ante Meridiem is an astonishing mix of genres, welcoming some folk, jazzy, rock and pop tunes.

Music Vice reporter, Jessica Paiva, asked Alanna Matty a couple of questions about her new album.

I see some songs are revisited from your previous EP release. That’s great. Why did you decide this?

They’re (the songs) very different with a full band; I really wanted to show how my sound has evolved from when I did everything solo. I think it’s fun to hear the new versions as well, especially for people who are familiar with the EP.

What’s the story behind naming this album “Ante Meridiem?”

Well it kind of came from looking for other things that my initials could stand for, and I thought of the time a.m. Since many of my songs are written in the early morning hours just after midnight (as stated in many songs) and I found it had a really nice ring to it.

Exploring Through The Songs

1. Pocket Song
A Pocket Song, is one of those tracks I would find myself snapping my fingers and jamming through the percussion while walking to work in the morning. It’s truly an upbeat song filled with positive vibes that will keep you smiling even throughout a Monday work shift.

2. Why I Can’t Sleep
This track welcomes a soft instrumental with quick cheerful lyrics and back-up vocals that listeners will highly enjoy.

3. A Song For My Love
This is a song that’s revisited from Matty’s A Song For My Love EP. With this version, Matty welcomes an extended remix of the already fragile song and brings in a bonus perk listeners will enjoy immensely. The elegant piano solo is definitely still present in the beginning of the track, however once you get to the one-minute mark, a penetrating bass line and percussion instantly surprises you. This song was my favourite off the EP – and this version doesn’t disappoint. Matty’s haunting vocals brings A Song For My Love as one of the best tunes off this album. Let’s just take a moment to acknowledge that killer electric guitar solo at the 5-minute mark. Damn.

4. Being Whole
Being Whole is a song I could see off her EP – it’s very delicate acoustic tune displaying Matty and an ongoing guitar loop. It’s a good change from the full band, though I found it a bit dull and too raw for me. Felt like it was a recording of a live performance rather than a studio-recorded track.

5. Loose Change
Loose Change is another track off her EP revolved to this album. I’ve had the pleasure of listening to this version during her performance at Drake Underground the past year and it’s no shocker that I would hear it again here. It’s a mollifying tune where listeners can concentrate on how talented Matty truly is as a musician/songwriter. Her voice is truly impeccable throughout ever level.

6. Lately
With folk undertones and a use of progressive guitar riffs that pop, this track is comprised of beautifully written lyrics that portray a simple message. You may think upbeat and tranquil are opposing adjectives but this track finds a way to exude both.

7. Lullaby
Lullaby is a gentle ballad that harmonizes fragile voices full of raw emotion. Listeners are left feeling breathlessly enchanted by the peacefulness of the melody.

8. One For You
Matty’s use of narrative takes us on a journey in this track. Plucking a jazzy rhythm out of a modest set of folk instruments, Matty’s voice matches a heavy bass line with power and groove.

9. Dreamless
Heavy distorted guitar chords give this track a 90s vibe supported with virtuoso solo work. This song is a perfect example of Matty not being limited to one genre.

10. Don’t Tell Me So
Ante Meridiem ends with an energizing track that showcases Matty’s expressive voice. This song, like Matty herself, is fiery and passionate. A stimulating tune that uses timeless transitions.

Ante Meridiem undoubtedly exhibits Matty’s eclectic talent. Not restricted to one genre, this album ultimately has a little bit of something for everyone while still feeling very personal and authentic. The encompassment of this young woman’s emotions leaves the listener feeling as though they are eavesdropping on a good conversation between old friends.

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©  Jessica Paiva and Olivia Roger, Music Vice

Internet link: 
Alanna Matty

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