Tuesday 22 Jul

Chevy cruisin’

Chevy Woods with Kevin Gates & more
9 p.m. Sunday 
Vibe Night Club 
227 SW 25th St. 

07/16/2014 | Comments 0

Rock steady

7 p.m. Saturday
Frontier City
11501 N. Interstate 35 Service Road 
Free with park admission 

07/16/2014 | Comments 0

Narrative verse

L.T.Z. with Jabee, Frank Black & more
8 p.m. Saturday
The Conservatory 
8911 N. Western Ave. 

07/16/2014 | Comments 0

Dancing in the Twilight

Sunday Twilight Concert Series with The Wurly Birds
7:30 p.m. Sunday
Myriad Botanical Gardens 
301 W. Reno Ave. 

07/16/2014 | Comments 0

Next big thing

As far as songs go, few prove as challenging to sing as our national anthem.

It’s a technically demanding tune from first note to last, to be sure, beginning with a low bellow that quickly soars toward star-punching high notes, eventually swelling to a show-stopping crescendo that even the most seasoned performer can have trouble mastering.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Reviews · Folk · Matt the Electrician —...

Matt the Electrician — Accidental Thief

Maybe the Avetts’ long-lost brother?

Stephen Carradini July 7th, 2011

Banjo-playing Matt the Electrician actually was an electrician before he took up music full-time. This sort of earnest, workingman’s dignity powers his pop folk.


His entirely unironic songwriting would fit in neatly next to The Avett Brothers on a tour bill or a playlist.

Artifice isn’t in his bag of tricks, which means that “Accidental Thief ” positively bursts with immediate hooks. Opener “All I Know” is a jaunty, charming tune that sways and skips along easily. It borders on saccharine, which is why Mumford and Sons haters will not make it through the song to the rest of the album. But he settles into a less bubbly persona on follow-up “I Will Do The Breathing” and stays there for the bulk of the disc.

It’s no less immediate, but it’s unfettered charm is traded for weary determination. “I Will” is definitely morose in its determination, but the highlight, “Pioneer Bride,” leans to the determined end of the spectrum. The title track strikes a nice balance of the two sides, as it is lyrically weary, but musically sturdy.

The highlights keep rolling in, which is why “Accidental Thief” is one of my favorite albums of the genre so far this year. The wide-eyed delivery of the solo banjo lines in “Crying” calls up Sufjan Stevens’ “Michigan,” while “Long Gone” brings to mind the mature delivery of Derek Webb.

The perky “Ghost Story” is the best true folk tune here, as it could be covered by Gillian Welch and no one would bat an eye. “Friends” is a great cap to the album that ties all of Matt’s motifs together.

But it’s “Feel Like My Home” that is the takeaway. The tender ballad twists the common phrase, as he sings to a lover who’s left him, “I wish you didn’t feel like my home.” It’s in the same devastating league as Death Cab for Cutie’s “Lack of Color,” only folkier. It also has contributions from what I think is the euphonium pictured on the cover. (I played euphonium in high school. Represent.)

The depth of clarity in Matt the Electrician’s songs shows that he’s learned much in the six full-lengths (!) preceding “Accidental Thief.” This is an absolute must for fans of pop-flavored folk, especially because it might be the closest thing to an Avett fix y’all will get this year. —Stephen Carradini
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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