River Matthews: Imogen review – musical solace for recovering news junkies
Singer / Songwriter
When the world is in turmoil, some people take to action while others hum to themselves and pretend like nothing is happening. Surrey singer-songwriter River Matthews’s debut album Imogen provides an alternative, fantasy world, filled with sepia-toned and simple indie-folk songs, with occasional sorrow.
Much like Jack Johnson’s 2005 album In Between Dreams, which was released during George W Bush’s presidency, the pureness in Matthews’s music is a love-filled celebration for people who would rather not read the news headlines. Rolling deep in earthy imagery and rich poetry and using casual religious references on Imogen, Matthews is counting his blessings. “And your hands/ Amen! Encore!/ They make the man in me kneel down/ And beg for more,” he exclaims on Feels Like Morning.
While his upbeat songs are just one banjo away from a Mumford song, when he puts his fragility to the forefront, like the painstaking Over or his cover of The Animals’ House of the Rising Sun, which rustles up a low degree of anger, he shines.
While it might be easier to force a smile, when Matthews faces his own realities, it makes for stronger stuff. rivermatthews.com