If anyone says anything about Alanna Matty, it should be this: the girl’s not afraid to experiment with her music. And while that usually ends with a terribly disjointed record, for Matty it’s paid off in huge returns.
Matty’s latest full-length effort, released at the end of August, is a wonderful blend of genres – at times folksy, at times jazzy, and times straight-up alt-rock. Matty perfectly describes the album, titled Ante Meridiem, on her BandCamp page, saying: “It seems impossible to sum up this album into a short paragraph, but I shall try. With a good mix of folk, pop, rock and some (very) raw acoustic songs, Ante Meridiem has a hard time being slotted into a genre, and is better left to be appreciated for what it is: a collection of emotions that only seem to surface in the darkness of the early morning.”
The record opens with the ska-meets-jazz-meets-folk track, ‘Pocket Song’, which proves that listeners should expect the unexpected.
‘Why Can’t I Sleep’ features a soft plucky guitar, quick cheery lyrics, a full chorus and warm honest lyrics. A hollow piano opens ‘A Song For My Love’, with vocals to match the beautifully eerie music. Then, a speedy electric guitar comes in wholly unexpectedly and suddenly the track takes on an alt-rock edge. Just like that, it’s gone from ‘skip’ to ‘repeat’.
‘Loose Change’, a stand-out track, puts the spotlight on Matty’s songwriting abilities. Lyrics like: “Did you ever lose your brain, I say / Did you ever feel a change in you / Did you ever want to know your place / Did you ever want to feel this way” work to empower and inflate the track.
A cooing guitar and eerily harmonized vocals give ‘Lullaby’ a ghostly feel, which is fitting as the lyrics paint the picture of a love lost: “But I’m still waiting / For what you’ve been saving / And I’ll keeping calling until you / Answer and I still love you / Even if you didn’t want me to / And I’ll keep waiting / For your call”.
Overall, Ante Meridiem is a masterpiece in musical exploration. The record is an exciting and enticing listen, and even the songs that slack by comparison are great.
For more on Alanna Matty, visit her BandCamp page.