‘Glow’ by Matt Lande (Album)

3 December, 2015 in Music Reviews

Matt Lande

Matt Lande: a songwriter with huge potential lurking behind the wall of sound

Although a bold rock sound dominates most of the album, the quieter moments showcase the emotional heart at its centre

Matt Lande 'Glow' album coverHaving tasted some success as a member of bands StorySide:B and Heaven Is Where, Matt Lande has been working under his own name since 2012. New album Glow is his first new material in three years and finds the Portland-based songwriter in contemplative mood, reflecting on the loss of two close friends to cancer.

Lande’s sound is bold pop rock with layers of guitars building around his forceful voice. Rather than strip back his sound, he has sought catharsis through an exorcism of emotion. The title track, Echo and Together all have an accessible radio friendly appeal which marries big riffs with universal sentiments. Spin and If I Could Love continue in a similar vein. En masse there is a tendency for these songs to blend together and they suffer from sounding slightly over-polished.

The album is at its most endearing on Robin, a simple piano ballad packed with feeling and sorrow. Synths enhance Lande’s powerful vocals as he mourns his friend, and it’s impossible not to share the pain. Album closer Looking Down finds a balance between this rawer sound and the glossier production that dominates much of Glow and provides the record with a fittingly philosophical ending. These moments hint at a songwriter with huge potential lurking behind the wall of sound, if only he stepped out from it slightly more often.

Verdict: Emotional pop rock

Duncan Haskell