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Matt Epp - Shadowlands

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Matt Epp sings with a rough-edged, slightly world-weary voice and Shadowlands is already his 10th album. This latest release was tracked in Nashville, TN, but it doesn't come off particularly country sounding. For instance, one titled "Mercy" prominently features Memphis-y organ. The album instrumentation does include pedal steel work from Aaron Goldstein, who was imported from Toronto - of all places. One imagines it shouldn't have been too hard to find a local steel guy, though. Nevertheless, his contributions are appreciated.

Many of these songs feature moody melodies. Such is certainly the case with "North Country," which is both quiet and foreboding. With "Unnatural," Epp expresses his grave environmental concerns. "Unnatural" also finds Epp singing, or more accurately preaching, his message. The cadence of his vocal nicely recalls prime Jackson Browne.

Shadowland has been defined as "an indeterminate borderland between places or states, represented as an abode of ghosts and spirits." Clearly, many of these fine and memorable have a haunted quality. It's a dark, murky world we travel these days. Matt Epp knows this and has created appropriate music for the journey.

Matt Epp - Shadowlands
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