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2023 Albums Thing 228 - Eric Matthews “It's Heavy In Here”

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In the days when we all used to swap comp tapes of the stuff we were digging amongst a group of us my brother Miles included “Fanfare” from this album on one of his. It was in the period he was working at MTV if I remember right and had heard it as part of research for his show. When I came across this album a couple of years ago I had to have it. Eric Matthews is a singer, composer and record producer. He had been in the band Cardinal in the early ’90’s and he has worked with the likes of Sebadoh’s Lou Barlow. This, his debut solo album, was released in 1995.

“Fanfare” is a mid-tempo, horn driven anthem sung in a dreamy, low-fi style by Matthews. It’s bloody great and to my great surprise was released by Sub-Pop Records. Now I associate Sub-Pop with the likes of Mudhoney, Nirvana, Tad, Screaming Trees, ya know, noisy, grungy bands, not with orchestrated crooners, but that’s what we have here, an album as un-Sub Pop as it’s possible to imagine.

After “Fanfare” it all gets very much more sedate. The vocals are what can only be described as breathy and the music is a mix of dreamy lo-fi (in style rather than sound, it’s a lush sounding record) Indie with a healthy dose of folk-ish-ness. It’s a very “lying in bed on Sunday morning drinking good coffee and reading about the matters of the day” kinda record, I think that’s the best description I could give it. Have a listen to “Fanfare” below and bear in mind that this is as raucous as it gets. 

Sub Pop…really !

Fanfare - https://youtu.be/brhiO6m6lxw?si=kJbh1HpWcNQMyYLX

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