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Album Review: Matt Pryor - May Day

Matt Pryor has been a huge inspiration and influence on the alternative scene for many more years than most careers last, continually embodying that of a true song writer. His latest release, ‘May Day’ only goes to act as further proof of this, 15 albums in and Pryor’s lyrics still hold a firm grip on relevancy, with his matured character offering up a new side, one which deals with the personal and offers darker shades to his illustrious career - while holding onto what fans have so avidly supported throughout the years.

‘Don’t Let The Bastards Get You Down’ epitomizes the ethics that surrounded, and played a role in the release of this album. With his fan-base funding the release through fan-centric website Kickstarter and Matt launching his new label – Nightshoe Syndicate – taking this stripped back independent approach one step further.

Coming from a place - and the month of May in which the album was written and recorded - Pryor doesn’t hold back his frustrations with writing and playing music within a time where he was simply burnt out, creating the darkest moments within tracks like the eerily serene ‘Like A Professional’ and the haunting ‘As Lies Go...This One Is Beautiful’. However tracks ‘Where Do We Go From Here’ brighten up the hope of this release, quickening the pace and in the case of ‘Your New Favorite’, widen the instrumentation with a piano and harmonica which help add real depth, and balance out proceedings. With the prominence of a piano in ‘As If I Could Fall In Love Again’ making it a stand-out within the 12 track package.

This album is another demonstration of the instantly relatable song writing that Pryor so effortlessly produces. Although some of the subject matter delves into personal issues and comes up feeling dark and distorted the narratives never leave your grasp, feeling approachable and sincere, without becoming melodramatic or banal. The idea of writing and recording an album in one month wouldn’t sit well with every artist, however Pryor seems to thrive on this approach, not giving himself the time to dwell on every last detail, producing something that is raw and pure in every sense.

4/5

'May Day' is out on January 24th through Nightshoes Syndicate.

Connor O’Brien