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Syd Matters - Brotherocean

  by Lisa Torem

published: 20 / 2 / 2011

Syd Matters - Brotherocean
Label: Because Music
Format: CD


Poetic and charmingly unpredictable fourth album from the enigmatic Syd Matters, the nom de plume for Parisian singer-songwriter Jonathan Morali

Parisian singer-songwriter Syd Matters was born Jonathan Morali. His pseudonym was formed by piecing together the names of Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett and Roger Waters. Drawn to the arts as a young man, his sensitivity abounds. “While you were hunting, I was gathering dead leaves,” he opines, early on in his current ethereal CD, 'Brother Ocean'. The album comes after 'A Whisper and a Sigh'(2002), 'Someday We Will Foresee Obstacles'(2005) and ‘'Ghost Days' (2008). The utmost care is taken throughout his works to make the listener think. The album is essentially lo-fi and packed with stark poetic images and low, moaning vocals which this poet uses well to create sweeping moods. Some of the lyrics do bring to mind the childlike lyrics one of his namesakes, Syd, so keenly used: such as “rivers don’t burn…” His rhythms dovetail and careen from “sing-song” to turn pike in seconds flat. The result is charming unpredictability. 'Brother Ocean' is often an experiment with vocal textures and production techniques where sound bytes garble and muffle at times, though Matters consistently retains his benevolent, unblemished baritone. When he again reaches land, he epiphanies, “I have seen both the devil and the queen.” “I hear a rolling thunder put on a driving belt/There’s something in the water that tells me to come in…” Matters states. There are many more hints of mystery at work, too. “What a strange feeling to be loved,” he sings so plaintively, when icy images get trumped by murky waters. The eight minute-plus ‘Hadrian’s Wall’ is cacophonous and quirky, like a calliope on steroids and so reminiscent of the coveted old-fashioned 'Three Penny Opera'. Syd Matters is the kind of guy you really need to have in your record collection. Why? Because 'Brother Ocean' is the wave of the future.

Track Listing:-
1 Wolfmother
2 Hi Life
3 Halalcsillag
4 A Robbery
5 We Are Invisible
6 River Sister
7 Lost
8 Ocean Soul
9 Rest
10 I Might Float
11 Hadrian's Wall

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Obstacles (2005)
Melancholic electronica, and the first release of the There's a Riot Goin' On label's new music sans frontieries initiative, from Syd Matters, the nom de plume for 23 year old Parisien Jonathan Morali

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