Matt Tyrer presents his third studio album ‘Shape Of The Sky‘ – a careful collection of 11 tracks exploring themes as vast and varied as relationships, wasteland survival, mental health and even Kessler Syndrome.
Hailing from Telford in the West Midlands – the multi-instrumentalist, who played in Stoke-based band Dead Radio Society, blends the rich storytelling of folk music with an alternative sound that manages to be both synthy and acoustic. Following on from his debut ‘The Purest Light’ (2015) and ‘I Love You, But You’re Not Helping’ (2017) – ‘Shape Of The Sky’ is due to be released late January on Vicious Rabbit Records.
Opening track ‘Get In The Car’ is a stomping tale of a failing relationship during an earth-shattering situation. The push and pull feel of love and resentment is almost tangible, but it’s the survival instinct that wins out. From the haunting harmonica-filled intro, the folky-violin sections andsing-a-long chorus – its a tune guaranteed to become a fan-favourite – especially when live music and gig crowds return. “Honey get in the car / Gotta get away / Before the world comes crashing down”
‘Chernobyl Wolf’, the fourth track on the record provides an interesting juxtaposition between a poppy upbeat sound against a wasteland backdrop after a catastrophic nuclear fallout (akin to the Chernobyl disaster of 1986). With lyrics which explore the idea that life is brief and we’re not here long – there’s a certain acceptance of this from Tyrer when faced with this fact. “You’re nothing more than a passenger here / And no one will care when you’re gone” The probability of Kessler Syndrome (space debris falling back to Earth) is mentioned complete with an eerie emergency broadcast voiceover to end (which also returns in later track ‘Take Me Home’).
Other stand out tracks include ‘Labyrinths’ and ‘Empty Vessels’ (which Matt made available to preview prior to the album’s release over on Bandcamp). The former being a toe-tapping navigation through the maze of the mind with a fun ’80s-inspired electro-synth beat and xylophone percussion. Alternatively, ‘Empty Vessels’ slows down the pace as Tyrer reflects on his past actions, his flaws and himself as an ’empty vessel’. It’s a creeping builder, slow and steady with sharp guitars and volume increasing vocals.
There’s a range showcased on this record in themes, musical skills and pace. From the delicately layered vocals of ‘The Town Is Strangling Me’, the melancholic florishing keys of ‘Take Me Home’ pondering mass displacement, the sea-shanty feel of ‘After The Garden’ and the optimism of ‘Another Day’s Another World’.
‘Shape Of The Sky’ is a record which, track by track, truly manages to capture the range of human emotions against a post-apocalyptic backdrop – and Tyrer presents this perhaps predestined future reality with a candid wit. With genre-bending soundscapes featuring a multi-instrumental approach – it carries a potent message of concern for the future with folk-like storytelling that feels otherworldly yet engaging and incredibly potent.