Review// Matt Millard makes us like folk again

Artist’s new EP is enough to restore faith in the acoustic-driven indie-folk genre.

A few years ago, you couldn’t escape the sound of acoustic guitars and folk melodies. Driven by the spark of an indie-folk revolution in the mainstream music masses, it seemed most indie artists and solo acts had strapped on an electroacoustic and followed the formula.

Thankfully, that’s died down enough that we can discover gems like Matt Millard and his latest EP, Take Me Anywhere. Over the space of three tracks (four if you include an acoustic rendition of the title track), Millard delivers a moving reason to re-invest in the genre.

The title track juxtaposes a haunting, Brand New-esque verse melody with a rousing, folk-following chorus that establishes and summarises Millard’s sound. Throughout the EP, Millard has a tendency to unify ethereal guitar lines that provide a somewhat spooky or unsettling atmosphere with folky acoustics and vocalwork that feel reassuring.

While the titular Take Me Anywhere serves as the EP’s moment of singalong release, the supernatural reassurance of Millard’s songwriting is best experienced in Fearful as Millard shares an understanding message of recovery and tenacity. With reverberated guitars that dissolve into the backdrop and chorus vocals with enough warmth that they almost fade into the background, the track almost feels like an uplifting message from life itself.

That’s where Millard’s power lies. Over just three tracks, he demonstrates an uncanny ability to handle melancholy and offset it with inspiration and hope, all of which is delivered in such as way that it doesn’t feel like just another person with positive messages. Millard’s singalong qualities aren’t born of a desire to fill stadiums; they come from his voice’s ability to transcend his own mortal body and encapsulate the feelings of the human condition. And that, in its purest form, is exactly what folk should accomplish.

You can listen to Matt Millard’s Take Me Anywhere EP below.

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