From the moment Matthew Wolcott begins to sing “Western Lights”, the title track of his debut 5-track E.P., you know this Dallas-based singer songwriter has delivered an exceptional premiere. A lightly country-fied feel, perfectly constructed pop and at moments, I can hear inflections of Peter Holsapple’s vocal delivery, which is (of course) very familiar and easily welcomed. So to give you double the pleasure of hearing the title cut, Popdose is proud to give you the exclusive viewing of the video for “Western Lights”. And the visual is completely right for the feel of this simply terrific song.
It also doesn’t hurt that amongst the players who delivered a stellar performance with Mr. Wolcott includes Roger Joseph Manning, Jr., once of Jellyfish and Victor Indrizzo on drums, who has been the thunder behind Redd Kross and Samiam, amongst others. The production is crisp, clear and full (the warmth of those acoustic guitars!) and each song has that certain something that makes this such a joy to listen to. Even though “Olde Towne Blues” is rooted in melancholia and memory, there’s something uplifting in the melody, especially on the Hammond solo, which is as soulful as one could ask; the same can be said about “Dixie’s Waltz” with its horn solo and build-up of strings and sweeping slide guitar runs. “Who Are You Tonight” is delicate and sweet and takes about a minute and a half before the band kicks in and when they do, it’s a beautiful mixture of band, strings and a sharp, spot-on guitar solo surrounded by cellos and violins. Heartbreaking in its loveliness. Closing out the set, “Lost In The Roses” is completely stripped down with guitar, voice and harmonica; the lyrics are incredibly sad and yet the tune offsets the emotion in a perfect balance.
Five songs, in this case, are not enough. Matthew Wolcott, I’m certain, has a plethora of songs that will make something this good look “okay” later on. But for now, this is really quite stunning. Seek this one out. And to whet your appetites, watch the video/listen to “Western Lights”.
Western Lights is available now