Matt Townsend’s curious blend of folk rock leans in many ways towards Neutral Milk Hotel and Apples In Stereo, immediately made clear on opening track ‘Seventh Story’.
The folksy americana makes good use of lap steel and emotive, wailing vocals and form an undulating rhythm. ‘Carry On’ continues in the same vein, with hints of Guided By Voices beneath the classing chord progression, while ‘Hollow City Streets’ uses a more gritty, overdriven tone to create a visceral picture that suits its lyrical content perfectly. ‘Wind Without The Rain’ is more of a Fleetwood Mac/Stevie Nicks soft ballad, gentle and wistful in its approach, and ‘Takin’ A Moment’ is a Bob Dylan style country folk track that inspires some serious toe tapping and makes for a great travelling tune. ‘Desire Like A Lion’ continues in the Dylan vein, while ‘The Garden Where The Grass Forever Grows’ will plant itself firmly in your mind for days to come with its warm tones, catch harmonica and soul stirring vocals.
‘Love I’m Coming Home’ turns things up a notch, but only slightly, with a swirling organ and strong rhythm section, and Matt Townsend’s vocals sit on top of the instrumentation perfectly kept buoyant as he delivers an uplifting and yearning chorus. Closing with ‘Gratitude In Being’, Matt Townsend And The Wonder Of The World this is a warm and inspiring album that is at times eccentric and at others a testimony to the legacy of folk music all wrapped up in a modern shell.
By Chris Marsh