Over the last few years, Leicester’s Matt Steady has emerged as a poster boy of the internet orientated independent music scene, being held up as an inspiration by many music business podcasters. His latest long-player Echoes Of Albion is a concept album taking the listener on a bittersweet tour of Britain across time – this is inventive folk rock evoking the sardonic narrative style of The Men They Couldn’t Hang with shades of Roger Waters and Tom Robinson also coming through.
In the context of what is to come, Green Man comes across like an overture as Steady muses on how the ancient spirit of our island is destined to bookend the destructive aberration of civilisation. What follows is a sideways look at many familiar landmarks – The White Cliffs Of Dover become a symbol of conflict and war (“no safe landing here”) while Hadrian’s Wall speaks “more of fear than authority”. Other locations range from the evocative (“The most important shot I took, from the top of Sarum’s Hill…”) to the mundane oppression of Narborough Road, leading to the proud mountaineering metaphor of The Three Peaks. “This route will not humble us”, Steady concludes, “We will never bow”.
The music throughout is top notch. Steady is a gifted multi-instrumentalist and producer, coaxing a beautifully full sound from his instruments and international band of collaborators including Swedish percussionist Niklas J. Blixt, Irish cellist Elaine Nolan and fellow Brits Liam Ward and Sam Jefferson, with Matt’s 17 year old daughter Indigo providing exceptional backup vocals on many tracks.
May the Echoes Of Albion echo with pride!
Available from http://mattsteady.com from 16th April 2018.