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Matt Brown – “Illeagnes and Marchall”

July 24, 2007

Matt Brown used to play guitar for Raleigh, NC’s The Ashley Stove “back in the day” (ie., the early to mid-nineties). After splitting from that band oh, maybe six or seven years ago, he started working on his own solo stuff. He sent me a CDR of tunes he had recorded and was looking for a label to release, but at the time I was going through a breakup and the future of EKR was uncertain.

Matt was also going through, or had recently been through, a breakup, and much of his collection of tunes could be described as breakup songs. Maybe that’s why at the time that I received it, it was hard for me to really listen to it, much less release it.

Now, years later as I dug through my old CDs looking for things to load on my iTunes, I’ve rediscovered this gem. Matt’s songs are heartfelt, sincere, sad, and quite catchy. His vocal delivery comes off a bit like the boy next door; nothing over-the-top but instead like a friend crying on your shoulder, not unlike vocal stylings of Ben Gibbard or Elliott Smith.

In the first tune from his CD, “Illeagnes and Marchall,” Matt tells the story of a girl he was in love with, but instead of staying put and continuing a relationship with him, she chose to go away to school. Not a new story to put to song I’m sure, but Matt gives it a twist by centering the song on his getting lost and driving around her old block (Illeagnes and Marchall). You can’t help but feel sympathetic for Matt when he sings “you were some prize, just not my wife.”

If you’re into sad, mellow indierock then you should seek this out. Not sure if it ever got a proper release, but Matt is now located in Portland and has a band called Montauk Ghost. So hit him up through their myspace and bug him for a copy of his solo stuff.

Matt Brown – Illeagnes and Marchall (mp3)

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