16 Jul 2024
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Matt Joe Gow - EP Review: Closer To Tomorrow

11 Sep 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus

In early 2023, Matt Joe Gow released album number 4, Between Tonight And Tomorrow, to widespread critical acclaim. Not only did that include 5-star reviews, Matt also took home the 2023 MLT Songwriting Award. Extensive touring in support of the album showed its title track becoming a popular fan favourite. Closer To Tomorrow is a revisiting of that album, tracked live at Woodshed studios in Melbourne. Joining Gow's acoustic guitar and vocals on the thoughtful and introspective track is Andrew Pollock's mandolin, combining to make a slightly slower paced, open, and soulful rendering than the original release.

The EP offers 3 distinctly different takes on the song. Each is called a slightly different version of Between Tonight And Tomorrow, with the first having the additional '(Reprise)' in the title. Track two is Between Tonight And Tomorrow-Remix. Having recorded Reprise, Gow's long-time engineer Chris Elliot suggested taking things a step further. Remix is a tribute to their shared love of 90's trip-hop artists such as Massive Attack and Portishead, and that love shines through in this version. Whilst I admired and enjoyed the dark beauty of Reprise, Remix has excellently captured the sound it was aiming for, a deliciously lazy beat languorously underpinning floaty layers, lovely stuff.

The third realising is named Ambient Version, just when you thought that this song couldn't possibly get more chilled out. Another collaborative effort with Chris Elliot, ethereal beauty is the name of the game here. Minimal instrumentalism provides a beautiful backdrop, a deep pulse coming in around the one minute mark. The other two tracks on the EP are instrumental versions of Remix and Ambient Version.

All in all, a wonderful celebration of a song beloved by his fans, and a thoughtful offering. A superb addition to the catalogue of an artist who continues to rise.

 

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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