CD Review: Kalle Mattson – Someday, The Moon Will Be Gold

Kalle Mattson will be playing a house show at The Special on March 5.

Fair warning: I’m going to do a lot of name-dropping here. Not in that braggy, sycophantic way, collecting names like playing cards and throwing them down when you think you have a win. Nah, it’s not going to be that impressive. No cool anecdotes about Shania Twain and tuna sandwiches. They might be obscure references or incriminatingly hipsterish, but do your best to stay with me.

No, I’m going to drop names because, when you sit down to listen to the album that I’ve been listening to for the last week, and you start to talk about it, you can’t really help it. It’s the kind of album that wears its influences proudly, that draws from the talent around it, that isn’t afraid of a shout-out.

Kalle Mattson – Someday, The Moon Will Be Gold

This is the third full-length album from the prolific, Ottawa-based folk rock songwriter Kalle Mattson, and from the beginning it’s clear that although the album bears Mattson’s name, it has a bigger sound than that. This isn’t just a guy and his guitar, but a full band cranking it to 11, a mere twelve seconds into the first song, “An American Dream.” A horn melody is blaring, somebody’s going to town on a set of cymbals, a gnarly, distorted guitar tries to push through. It’s a pretty definitive statement before it suddenly quiets, allowing room for Mattson’s voice to interject. And then it’s off again. Think Swedish singer-songwriter The Tallest Man on Earth (the stochastically named Kristian Matsson) as performing vocal duties for Wilco or Neutral Milk Hotel.

Though Someday, The Moon Will Be Gold is, by folk rock standards, a pretty raucous record, Mattson is quite deft at reigning in the scrappy energy of his sound when he needs to. The ‘90s alt rock-inspired “Hurt People Hurt People” (like a more coherent, less-screamy The Vines track) and the distorted propulsion of “God’s Only Son” (a perfect companion to most any The Weakerthans song) give way to the restraint of quieter tracks like “A Love Song to the City,” and album highlight “Darkness.” The latter song begins with a gorgeous fingerpicking pattern and Mattson’s reverbed vocals before growing into a somber military march.

Mattson is also prone to dropping literary references into his songs: a Haruki Murakami’s Sputnik Sweetheart reference in “The Moon is Gold,” the Shakespeare/Faulkner/Poe triad in the Cave Singers-esque “Sound & Fury (A Dream Within a Dream),” and a James Joyce nod in “The Living & The Dead.”

The only time that Mattson’s artful repurposing of material goes astray is in the song “Pick Me Up,” which bears a chorus identical to that of BC indie favourite Aidan Knight’s song “Jasper.” Whether Mattson was aware of this or not (the lyrics and vocal inflections are too similar to dismiss) it’s likely that listeners in their shared musical niche would be familiar with both artists and might feel a little conflicted.

Kalle Mattson will be playing a house show at The Special on March 5. I predict a joyous, loud, and pumped-up atmosphere. Do your best to check it out!

 

This review originally appeared in the February 21 issue of {vurb}, a weekly entertainment supplement distributed by the Nelson Star.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Nelson lacks enough supporting housing to meet homeless demand: report

The annual study shows permanent shelter is needed for people experiencing homelessness

Two new COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health

The total number of Interior Health cases since the beginning of the pandemic is now at 522

Nelson outdoor photo exhibit reflects physically distanced life

Portraits of a Pandemic runs until Oct. 15 at Lakeside Park

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

2 British Columbians arrested, 3 at large in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Most Read