Matt Townsend and The Wonder of the World - a fine piece of folk America(December 19, 2014)
Listening to the self-titled album from Matt Townsend and The Wonder of the World is like taking a folk-rock trip back in time. Part of me flew back to the late sixties and pretty much remained there for the entire album. That said, this is not simply a throwback album, it’s just that it comes with a level of pedigree that could put it anywhere from years ago to today. There’s a strength and maturity that’s palpable, the vocals have a melancholic touch gained through experience, the musicianship is as tight as could be – all in all it’s a comprehensively fine piece of folk America.
Townsend released a solo EP ‘What Light Shall Be’ at the tail-end of 2012, and with this album he’s lived up to the promise that many heard. From the opening ‘Seventh Story’ and ‘Carry On’ to ‘Hollow City’ the calibre of his songwriting is proved as it engages and holds your attention. Behind the nostalgic vocals, guitar and organ drive throughout with haunting touches of musical saw and pedal steel adding perfect accents. There’s a persistent longevity to this music, tracks like ‘Wind Without Rain’, ‘Desire Like a Lion’ and ‘The Garden Where the Grass Forever Grows’ stay with you long after the last notes fade.
With this album Matt Townsend and The Wonder of the World have made a powerful statement, and it’s one that you really should take time to hear.
Reviewer: Tom Franks