Review: Matthew Rice – Rising

Matthew Rice’s short four track EP, Rising, leaves a listener craving for more.  A mixed style of folk and rock with a twist that leaves the listener in awe of Rice’s tasteful tone and composition. His melodies are catchy, yet far from cliche, leaving a new listener longing for more of Rice’s unique music. This multi-talented musician, guitar maker, and poet (to name a few) has worked with multiple South African artists, such as Freshly Ground, Hot Water, Tony Cox, Steve Newman and many others. His songs have also featured in several documentaries. He plays all his live performances with Casimi guitars, a Cape Town guitar making shop that he owns with a colleague. A perfect harmony between craftsman of his instrument and his art.

The EP feels like the listener is floating in a sky of secret symphonies. The first song, “Rising”, starts off slow with mouth-watering, feather light melancholy, only to turn on you with power within a few seconds. This song definitely lives up to the title, with not only the lyrics but a melody that rises to powerful chords and refreshingly meaningful lyrics.

Calmly sailing towards the next song “Sailing”, the EP’s tempo becomes faster and the tone darker in its melancholy. With catchy guitar chords and the voice of an old soul, this song definitely grows on you.

“Secret Symphony” also rises from a quiet and dark intro into a song rooted in folk-rock. The imagery that comes to mind is of two people engulfed in a misty forest, the one searching for a smile in the distance that lights up the darkness. It creates a floating feeling in your stomach but, a strong force pulls you into the beautiful hypnotic dimensions of sound.

The EP ends with a surprisingly fun and upbeat song “A Cage and a bowl of milk”. Rice’s light-hearted humour rises above the melancholy. The song is worthy of a single and deserves to be played on the radio. It is refreshing to listen to an artist that, through his music,  can portray his stories of an EP through his technical skill and his artistry.

8/10

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