Design By Humans
Published On: Fri, Jul 17th, 2015

Matthew Santos: Into the Further

matthew santosMatthew Santos
Into the Further
(Candy Rat Records)

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Two-time Grammy nominee Matthew Santos’ new record, Into the Further, opens with smashing drums and swirling, chanting and slipping upright bass. The title track and first song look for a purchase it never finds, but all too soon we are into the electric guitar, single-note flight over jangly guitar of “Ojos.” There are lots of high-sailing Pink Floyd-like notions here, but equally just as many big commercial-sounding melody and a sand-papery backbeat (and again the non-lyrical vocal sounds) to the second tune. “It All Works Out” features a heavy, strong drum pattern, an Edge-like echoey guitar line, and a desperate rhythm all under a weak, lilting vocal. The drive here is certainly the up-front drums mixing with Santos’ high warble. Things do drag on a bit here, as the point is well made before we get what is mainly a drum solo at the end. Things quiet down to simple acoustic and Santos singing on “Succumb to Gravity.” There’s a hint of blues coming in here in this languid groove as we get a passing observation of a lyric. “White Gloves” might be my favorite here; it has groove, horns, that upright bass again (it gets a solo moment here), fiddle and Santos using the full range of his distinctive pipes for a bluesy read on a full stop love song. “Just to See You (Take 2)” is a simple piano instrumental, pretty at times to be sure, but like the title track opening, not really ever getting going. “Who Am I to You?” like “Succumb to Gravity” has just Santos’ vocal over acoustic guitar and the vocal layering into upright bass and drums shuck of “And Now the Leap” ends. It’s a good way to do so, as it showcases those wild flights of Santos’ voice and his ability to write and play with a groove.

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Matthew Santos: Into the Further