22 Feb 2024
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Matt Joe Gow - Single Review: Between Tonight & Tomorrow

23 Feb 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland

Here we have Matt Joe Gow’s latest single Between Tonight & Tomorrow, taken from the album of the same name which is out on March 10th. Matt provides vocals and guitar, and he is again accompanied by his band The Dead Leaves, featuring Andrew Pollock (guitar), Robin Murphy (bass), Daniel Brates (drums), Katya Harrop (percussion) and Dave Evans (Hammond organ). I consider myself lucky to have heard all of Matt’s previous albums, as well as catching him on tour twice in NZ when he came over from his adopted home of Melbourne, as he has the type of voice which invites the listener to come in, sit down and rest for a while.

The arrangements always have his vocals front and centre, and while his strummed acoustic is an important part of the sound, it is the warm vibrato of the Hammond which provides the backdrop for him to place his voice against. The electric guitar is gently reflective and only makes an entrance near the end, while the rhythm section stays in the background, and when we get to the unaccompanied section Matt stands out even more.

This does not sound like a song from 2023 but could easily have come out fifty years earlier with its timeless nature which oozes quality throughout. In keeping with the song, the video finds Matt at George Lane a live venue in the heart of St Kilda, Melbourne, standing inside the venue just singing with no instrument in sight. It is a low-key affair which concentrates the mind on the voice and the face and was filmed by one of his best friends and fellow Kiwi artist Kerryn Fields. Not only is it a one-take shot; it was also the first take, and it captures the ambience and feeling very well indeed. I am so looking forward to the album, and I am sure many other fans of Matt’s take on alt country will feel the same way.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Matt Joe Gow

Matt Joe Gow grew up in the deep south of New Zealand, in a town with bad weather and great music; the birthplace of groups such as The Chills, The Clean and Straitjacket Fits. Surrounded by music, he was encouraged to pick up a guitar from a young age. After traveling the world, Matt moved to Melbourne, Australia, drawn by its culture and vibrant music scene. He formed a band, The Dead Leaves and in 2009 released his debut record The Messenger, produced by multi-Aria award-winner Nash Chambers, and featuring contributions from Jim Moginie of Midnight Oil, and iconic Australian country guitarist Bill Chambers.

As alternative country and Americana continued to grow in popularity, Matt steadily toured and supported acts such as Chris Isaak, The Jayhawks, Justin Townes Earle, James Reyne, Kasey Chambers, Marlon Williams, Jimmy Barnes, Mark Seymour and John Butler.

Whilst regularly making demos and working on other projects in the studio, it would be 2016 before the next Matt Joe Gow record, Seven Years, was released to critical acclaim. The record was self-produced by Matt and guitarist Andrew Pollock. After touring and playing numerous festivals in support of the record, and encouraged by its positive reception, Matt returned to the studio in 2018 to make the follow-up, Break, Rattle and Roll. An ambitious record with keys, horns, pedal steel and backing vocalists supplementing the core band, it was again released to wide acclaim and accolades including the Music Victoria Award for Best Country/Americana Album Of The Year. In addition to full band shows, Matt undertook a solo tour with Grant-Lee Phillips, with Phillips posting that [Break, Rattle and Roll's] "Bridge Over Concrete is on constant rotation in my head!".

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Matt Joe Gow

Releases

Between Tonight & Tomorrow
Year: 2023
Type: Album
Break, Rattle and Roll
Year: 2018
Type: Album
Seven Years
Year: 2016
Type: Album
The Messenger
Year: 2009
Type: Album

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