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05-09-2014 // Must-Have of the Month: Matt Stalker & Fables - KNOTS

The new Must-Have of the Month is a Must-Have in the truest form. I wanted to have this record from the first moment I knew it was being released. I hadn’t heard any songs, didn’t know the lyrics. That didn’t matter, I wanted to have it. So I pre-ordered it, received it on that beautiful day in June and played it until the sun awoke me from my trance and sent me off to work another dreadful day at the office. But the day was a little brighter, the sun a little warmer and the noise of the world a little sweeter. I wondered what changed before it eventually hit me, I had been in desperate need of new Matt Stalker & Fables-music. And now that it had arrived, life was light again. The power of music in 37 minutes? KNOTS.

These last few years I’ve spent endless nights listening to The Man Who Said This Died of Alchemy and KNOTS is the perfect follow-up for that stunningly beautiful record. The band takes up new routes, adds new instruments and sounds to their songs, adding more depth to their fine, sweet folk music. If you’ve heard their previous record 100s of times, like I did, you’ll hear the difference. The little jazzy moments, the hints of bluegrass. This is unmistakably a MS&F-record, but they’ve grown so much. If you had never heard of this band until now, or just don’t care about the musical progress of musicians (I won’t judge you at all), you’ll at least agree with me that this is one of the finest records of the year. Acoustic folk music has never sounded this fine.

The album is one great song after another, but the best way to listen to an album like this is clearly from start to finish. Since the player automatically starts at Wildfire Smiles (track 8 of 11), be sure to start over at 1 once you’ve finished listening to the last few songs. My favorite moment of this record is “You’re Always Welcome At My House”, the song is classic MS&F-beauty, but there’s a twist somewhere in the middle (and again later), where the song seems to fade out strangely and eventually returns even stronger. It’s all in the softness of the entire record, yet it’s one of the most powerful songs on the record.

I haven’t been a raging fan about a record for some time, but this gets my blood going like it’s 1994. If you’re thinking about buying one record this month, let me suggest KNOTS by Matt Stalker & Fables. Worth every penny and a record that’ll stick with you for many years to come, at least until their next record. Probably way beyond.

Great! Fucking! Record!

Matt Stalker & Fables: facebook.com/mattstalkerandfables // @mattandfables

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