• matthew and the atlas Other Rivers (CD, £12.95)

    label: Communion

    Matthew And The Atlas, the moniker of British musician Matt Hegarty, releases his debut album. 'Other Rivers' is produced by Story Books' Kristofer Harris and Bear's Den/Communion's own Kev Jones. The album was recorded at Squarehead Studios in Kent in late 2013. The 10 track record marks a fresh perspective for Hegarty's songwriting since his first EP releases through the fledgling Communion label back in 2011. Building on those primarily acoustic early outings, the new sound is enriched with the buzz and hum of both electronic and live beats. The album also features a number of guests from the extended Communion family, including the production pair on multiple instruments, and the vocal of Australian Matt Corby on 'Another Way'. It's a benignly British record, but has a texture more in common with the learned likes of US contemporaries Bill Callahan, Justin Vernon, and Will Oldham. The recent Nowness.com featured, and Zane Lowe approved, single 'Pale Sun Rose' is an oak-smoked introduction to Hegarty, but the track's overall atmosphere and drama is replicated throughout the whole record. Other Rivers is a moving, full-bodied piece of work that requires an investment of time to truly appreciate its deftness of touch, but crucially it introduces a new British songwriter with an ear for something more wholesome than simply a keening melody or two.

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