Matthew and the Atlas at Dingwalls
What do Phil Collins, Foals and Bon Iver have in common? Matthew and the Atlas.
At Dingwalls in Camden they seem to mix a full array of different influences: Matthew Hegarty’s voice is sometimes surprisingly similar to Collins’ vocals while the guitarist every now and then bursts out in strands reminiscent of Foals’ early sound. Some songs are layered in Bon Iver style and some songs are plain rock songs. While it is fun to combine, the different influences confuse and make the performance incoherent at times. On record you barely notice these influences, but live it is far more apparent and damages the overall concept of the gig.
In the recently released album Other Rivers, Matthew and the Atlas take a big step away from the folky sound that pervades their earlier work. Onstage the folk influence and banjo have completely vanished, and any fan that found the band while they were opening shows for Mumford & Sons a while back might be in for a surprise. The band sounds like nothing you have heard on earlier releases, which is to their advantage. With their new sound they are searching for their own identity in music and make their own space on the scene rather than copying an already successful concept. Even if they are not completely there yet, they are heading in the right direction.
Matthew and the Atlas have some quite good songs – some beautiful, some catchy – and the band deliver them with pride to the Camden venue. Their new album is promising with the updated sound and the decision to put the banjo on a rest on most of the songs, but they need to work on a coherent live show in order to become as big as their influences.
For further information about Matthew and the Atlas and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Pale Sun Rose here: