There comes a time in every man’s life where he needs to truly admit that he’s reached that particular age when the banjo is undeniably, incontrovertibly his most favourite instrument. And, if any band could convince you of that moment, it could be Matthew and the Atlas.
Matthew and the Atlas – otherwise known as Matthew Hegarty, Lindsay West, Dave Millar, Thomas Field and Harrison Cargill – are yet another product of jams at the Notting Hill Arts Club, putting them in the same company as Laura Marling, Noah and The Whale, and Mumford & Sons. In other words, if you judge someone by the company they keep, Matthew and the Atlas are damn well positioned for a wider breakthrough.
Hegarty has that kind of Ray Lamontagne/Glen Hansard/Nick Drake voice that just immediately sucks you in and unfolds a story in your head far bigger than your skull should be able to hold. And the band just plays so… organically, it’s like music that you’ve been waiting to hear.
The below track (like the above video) comes from Matthew And The Atlas’ “To The North EP”, and it’s one of my favourite tunes of 2010. “I Will Remain” has a wistful quality that is more genuine than anything I’ve heard in quite some time. It’s the type of song that was made for whiskey and faded jeans.
Matthew and the Atlas’ new EP, “Kingdom of Your Own”, is out on November 1, and can be pre-ordered here. And, if you simply can’t wait, you can download another track of theirs, “Deadwood”, for free here (well, for the price of your email address).