Sieben – Ten Hymns For Modern Times (Album – Redroom)

Genre/Influences: Experimental, Neo-Folk, Chanson, Electronic.

Format: Digital, 2CD.

Background/Info: Matt Howden and ‘Kev’ (his violin) have been highly active and prolific during the entire lockdown and ongoing pandemic. It resulted in numerous studio-live sessions, recordings and this new work featuring ten songs -which have been released as ‘studio’- and ‘live’ edits.

Content: The studio work takes off with a surprising, sensual driven and more Electro sounding cut. Quite progressively, Sieben gets back to its ‘familiar’ Chanson style revealing engaged -and sometimes a bit cynical, themes. The music becomes melancholic leading the listener into reverie. The live recordings are quite recognizable. I get the feeling Matt is sometimes improvising extra passages this way adding a bonus to the record.

+ + + : “Obscene Wealth Hymn” is a great opener. It sounds a bit unusual for Sieben, but one of the best and most accessible pieces I’ve heard from Sieben. The other songs left are less surprising although delivering a great production. Sieben’s music has something of a traveling effect and even if Matt Howden deals with serious themes -which he transposed into ‘hymns’, it has a dreamy effect on me. I like Kev’s melancholia, but Sieben first deals with a kind of ‘free-style’. I’m more into the studio edits although the live recordings bring a little extra. I also have to say a last word about the production of the vocals, Matt Howden being next to a great musician also a talented and expressive singer.

– – – : As I already mentioned I’m more into the studio-edits.

Conclusion: Sieben remains a unique experience in sound featuring a kind of crossover style. The music is poignant and diversified.

Best songs: “Obscene Wealth Hymn – Studio”, “Harvest Festival Of Closed Borders – Studio”, “Populist Hymn – Studio”.

Rate: 8.

Artist & Label:https://matthowden.com / www.facebook.com/TheMightySieben



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