Posts Tagged ‘Matt kivel’

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Singer/songwriter Matt Kivel shared a new single, “Radiance,” taken from his forthcoming album, Last Night In America, out on May 10th via Cascine Records. Kivel has been releasing music under his own name since 2012. He’s put out four solo albums over the years—Double Exposure in 2013 on Olde English Spelling Bee, Days of Being Wildin 2014 on Woodsist, and Janus and Fires on the Plain, both released in 2016 on Driftless Records. With a minimalist foundation of hushed vocals, a gentle drum machine and gusty synths, “Radiance” pairs ambient folk-pop with the good-natured acceptance of life’s inevitable yet resplendent gear-turning.

“Radiance” comes from ‘Last Night in America’ by Matt Kivel, out on Cascine Records

Matt Kivel - Fires on the Plain (2xLP)

“Fires on the Plain” is the second album that Matt Kivel released in 2016. It is an 82 minute record featuring performances by Robin Pecknold (Fleet Foxes), Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Sophia Knapp, and about 20 other people who you may not know as well.

Matt Kivel has been doing this for a while. “This” being writing and recording albums. Some people have heard of him, but not many. The music he makes has always been sort of difficult to define, grounded in folk and rock ‘n’ roll, but always just a little bit more dissonant, or a little more subtle, or a little more confrontational. His shows have included nights of pristine performance and, equally, nights of audience-baiting, drunken violence, and anxiety-induced panic.

If there is a Matt Kivel “sound,” his falsetto and his delayed Gibson acoustic guitar. It’s calm and spacious and the lyrics are brutal, blunt, and vividly-rendered. In his native Echo Park, he is a hero to many of the younger musicians on the scene. He is generous with his time, of which he has precious little. His music has never paid the bills, so he works 40 hours a week as a speechwriter for the space industry and bartends at his local beer store. In addition, he boxes at Manny Pacquiao’s gym, edits his wife’s poetry, and with every other waking minute, writes songs. His songs are songs of experience. Songs of a life, lived.

So why don’t many people outside of his small neighborhood really know about his music? Musicians love him. He’s done many a show with artists like Steve Gunn, The Clientele, Angel Olsen, and Martin Courtney (Real Estate). He’s released albums with indie powerhouse labels like Woodsist and Olde English Spelling Bee.

He’s received outstanding reviews, including an 8.0 review of his debut album “Double Exposure” by Pitchfork. And his new record, “Fires on the Plain” features performances by Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Robin Pecknold, two of the most outstanding artists/songwriters of their respective generations.

“Fires on the Plain” is his best record. It’s a stone-cold classic of an album that is expansive and rich with detail. Horns blend with raindrops. Vocal howls give way to field recordings of rivers and backyards. The songs are sweet, dark, and always, brave. Matt will shower you mercilessly with distortion, soothe you with a quiet folk hymn, and launch into a motorik drum beat all within 5 minutes of music.

From the album “Fires on the Plain”
Forthcoming on Driftless Recordings, Released October 7th, 2016

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Matt Kivel ‘Janus’ released February 5th on Driftless Recordings, The Los Angeles-based songwriter Matt Kivel got his start working as a player in various bands during the first decade of the 2000s. Around 2013, Kivel quit playing with other bands to focus on his solo material. The first evidence of his work came in the form of some limited-run cassettes, but he truly came into his own with 2013’s full-length album Double Exposure, released on the Olde English Spelling Bee (Julian Lynch, Ducktails) label. Kivel’s solo work took a decidedly more subdued path than his previous affiliations, with shimmering ambient synths meeting muted acoustic songwriting and understated vocals. Second album “Days of Being Wild”, recorded with Palace Brothers member Paul Oldham over the course of the previous summer, saw release on the Woodsist label in 2014

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Los Angeles strummer Matt Kivel