The new Matt Elliott album The Calm Before, its 7th under his own name. Matt has once again requested producer David Chalmin and the musicians appearing on his previous record to deliver six new masterpiece songs following the "A Beginning" intro.
While one could consider these new songs are a logical continuum to his previous records, a deeper listen reveals a strong work of both the musical and lyrical content, showing once and for all what Matt Elliott's art is about. Folk guitar virtuosity playing influenced by mediterranean countries as well as eastern Europe countries, songs starting from whispered melodies to full noisy storms, his deep and strong voice reaching another singing level, and his tendency to avoid any well known way of making the music, writing epic anthems. But one should also consider Matt's poetry as an art on its own. We tried to ask him to develop the themes of these new songs, but Matt hates talking about his lyrics, preferring to leave the meanings of the songs open to interpretation. But we took everyone and everything Matt loves and put them in a room and threatened it with fire until he actually told us what the hell the songs on "The Calm Before" are about.
Here's the result : "'The Calm Before' is obviously a reference to the expression 'The calm before the storm'. The song itself is about those points in life when a storm arrives, be it a circumstance or a person & the mix of feelings, turbulence, trouble that comes with it but a storm also brings something, it clears the air & can push you into a new situation." 'The Feast of St. Stephen' is a self explanatory song about his thoughts about his childhood & the psychological pressures, abuses and manipulations present in all social groups in organised religion. To him : "'I Only Wanted to Give You Everything' needs no explanation, the lyrics are clear and the music expresses the frustrations of rejection. 'Wings & Crown' is a song about those who ride high oblivious to the precariousness of their power. "'The Allegory of the Cave' is very obviously about Plato's famous allegory and if you don't know that then you should probably just give up and walk into the desert… .
But seriously the allegory is about humanity in relationship to the great universe and what lies beyond the Pale. Matt Elliott delivers with The Calm Before another masterpiece, adding a precious stone in his path through contemporary folk music.