Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Pitstop: Matthew De Zoete

"I'm a musician who lives on a farm in rural Ontario with my wife and daughter"

Normally I avoid anything that sounds like too much of a gimmick for personal as well as aesthetic reasons and yet, this first sentence of introduction piqued my interest in Canadian singer/songwriter Matthew De Zoete. Maybe it's because it didn't actually sound like a gimmick but a sincere statement of introduction? Maybe it's because all my favorite music seems to come from rural-dwelling peoples? It's hard to say, but I knew upon reaching the end of that statement that I was hooked - pure and simple.

Matthew De Zoete's music is just that: simplistic, heartfelt, and wholly without fancy dressings even it does feature some pretty dynamite production. His music is the kind that stands by on it's own merits and Zoete's own nuanced songwriting and arresting vocals. Though Zoete's music isn't completely without innovation, his third and latest album Colour Film is designed with a short film in mind, a short film which to my knowledge doesn't actually exist. That's a feat - creating music as a sort of soundtrack that pretty much has to do all the dramatic heavy lifting itself.

Zoete's is a subtle touch, his songwriting revealing just what you need to know without telling you too much about the characters he's brought into being. Sure, their lives are fully on display on Colour Film but each song tells just the right amount while balancing it with just the right amount of raw emotion to keep Zoete's gears invisible; to keep the album from becoming too cerebral. The result is an album that isn't overbearing with its concept, an album that's enjoyable even if you don't know the concept and that you have very little to invest in order to claim your reward.

Matthew De Zoete's Colour Film is out now, you can listen to it via Bandcamp:

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