Former Gap Dream guitarist Matt Kivel spent the last year recording what has now become his debut album Double Exposure – an album I shamefully must admit I haven’t gotten around to yet. The four tracks I’ve heard of its ten songs tells me nonetheless that it could well be one of the most underrated gems of the year. For those of you who haven’t yet heard Kivel, I suggest you start with the tuneful “Tetro”, a two-faced folk number that alters between traditional folk – sung in a beautiful falsetto – and an aerial ambient middle part. “Rainbow Trout” and “All Will Be Well” – two other Kivel creations plucked from the album, follows “Tetro” in its beautiful and fragile, mostly acoustic, simplicity. In comparison, “Double Explosure” strikes me as more restless and consequently also the most deviant. It’s akin to the locomotive, almost krautrock styled speed of The War on Drugs and Kurt Vile – filled with overdubbed electric-guitar play and the occasional subtlety of pensive synth drones. Kivel’s voice is delicate, almost broken, and there is an uneasiness to these lyrics that mounts to some of the most fragile and earnest music I’ve come across all year. “Double Exposure” makes it even harder to label Kivel’s music. It kind of rests in-between acoustic folk and krautsy roots-rock, but mostly in a progressive way. Based on these four songs alone, Matt Kivel’s debut album is a necessary listen. Order your copy today, I just ordered mine. Double Exposure is out now via Olde English Spelling Bee.
- Video: Matt Kivel, “All Will Be Well” (thefader.com)