By: Ali Van Houten
If you haven’t heard Frameworks, it’s high time you did.
Matt Brewer is a Manchester-based producer and composer who’s bringing his atmospheric orchestrations across the pond with his first full album, Tides, out now on First Word Records. His haunting harmonies pervade the ten-track debut, from downtempo pieces like “No Place to Hide Away” to the titular track “Tides.” The complexity of the music imbues the album with a full, rich sound throughout. Brewer is joined on several songs by previous collaborators Ríoghnach (rEE-ona) Connolly, an Irish songstress, and soul singer JP Cooper, who both lend their heartfelt vocals to the rich tapestry of sounds that is Tides.
From the opener “Music Box,” Tides is a dreamy, building epic, with beautiful Emancipator-esque melodies. “A New Sun” takes a turn for the euphoric, like sunlight filtering in between the clouds. There’s a sense of hopefulness, like older Odesza but more instrumental. “Breathing Light,” meanwhile, is a headier, housier number, and one of my personal favorites off of this rad new album.
There seems to be a diverse set of influences on Tides. While “Patience” and “Calm the Still Night” both read like an electronic take on smooth jazz, Brewer seems to draw on other unexpected genres as well. “Old Friend,” the second track, is the first taste of Mr. Cooper’s irresistibly soulful vocals. It has an interesting, almost electronic-bluegrass vibe, with a subtle acoustic bass line and even what sounds like some cello thrown in there if you can get down with some strings. Likewise “Dawn,” featuring the talented Ms. Connolly, is an equally soulful tune with vocals in the vein of Adele’s new-school soul sound.
“End” brings it back down slow with the soothing sound of ocean tides, a throwback to the title track. Brewer’s violin-infused harmonies are a beautiful reminder of his skills as both an instrumental musician and electronic producer.
Fans of Plantrae, RJD2, and Bonobo will undoubtedly enjoy this innovative new artist. Give Tides a listen and let yourself be swept away by Frameworks.
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