A Review of Matt Townsend and The Wonder of the World
By Kevin Tshiamala
Matt Townsend began writing songs privately around 2008 and began performing in 2010. Initially busking on the streets of Burlington, VT and playing local coffeehouses, he soon began gracing the stages of clubs and venues around the Burlington area. His first solo EP “What Light Shall Be” was released in November 2012. Influenced by the songwriting of Bob Dylan, Neutral Milk Hotel, Townes Van Zandt, Neil Young, William Blake, and more, Townsend’s songs “connect universally while remaining personally vulnerable.”
Matt Townsend and The Wonder of the World formed in 2014 with the creation of singer/songwriter Matt Townsend’s debut LP Matt Townsend and the Wonder of the World. The self titled debut consists of nine well produced heartfelt folksy tunes with poignant lyrics that carry a certain non overbearing depth. “Cary On” could have been found on an album like Blood On the Tracks. This amongst others on the album carries the very sensibility of the original folk revival. With this newest folk revival upon us, it’s rare to find any that is worthwhile, but the voice, songwriting, and musicianship of Matt Townsend and his in and out eight piece band feel real.
“Desire Like a Lion” plays similar to that of “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright” while the organ lead on “Seventh Story” is reminiscent of “The Weight.” The comparisons are not due to the lack of identity and autonomy in the works of Matt Townsend and The Wonder of the World, for they are surely able to stand alone. The uniqueness of the songs lie in Townsend’s perception as he states, “inspirations include strange dreams and visions, the precarious beauty of human life, and the mysterious forces of the universe.” His view of the world, his “inspiration,” expressed through his folk story telling capabilities is what makes this album captivating.
A pure and heartfelt debut, Matt Townsend and The Wonder of the World is a delightful EP and a band to keep an eye on. With Cocos Lovers, Edwarde Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, Mumford and Sons, and others leading the pack of the folk revival, Matt Townsend and The Wonder of the World is not too far behind.
His crowd-funded debut LP with a full-band entitled “Matt Townsend and The Wonder of the World” is due for release June 23rd on Eternal Mind Records.
For more information please visit Matt Townsend and The Wonder of The World’s official website: www.MattTownsendMusic.com,
For social media please visit: www.facebook.com/matttownsendmusic
Kudos to whoever did the album cover art.