Matt Duncan – “Light Bright” + “Waking Up” + “Somewhere In Between”

a4276320971_10Glorious Soul Pop

Self-Released November and December 2015

It’s been a little more than two months since I last posted about Matt’s ‘Free Music’ project here – I wanted to make sure to cover other music going on around the state, and found myself getting busy with all things involved in finishing up my schooling at UK. Before 2015 wraps up, though, I wanted to be sure to get all caught up with the songs I missed out on:

“Light Bright” – Not only is this song a really great example of songwriting on Matt’s behalf, it shows off some very nice skill and creativity in its production. The song enters with some digitally altered piano samples, plays through a funky verse, before reaching the first chorus – one propelled by some terrific synth bass. The string hits in the second verse are a very nice touch, as is the key change that leads into the bridge. The same piano samples are used towards the end – this time with Matt’s voice layered in on top – before reaching one final chorus.

“Waking Up” – This song has a completely different mood than “Light Bright,” or any other song in this series for that matter. Starting out with just an acoustic guitar and Matt’s voice, the track patiently picks up layers of texture – some vocal harmonies and tambourine are added by the time the first chorus comes around. Matt writes that “Waking Up” was “inspired by a poem of same name, written by Cate Peebles,” and that it was written as a part of “the collaborative art show “The Dreams I Gave Her,” curated by Kelli Burton and Yulia Topchiy.” It’s a really nice song, and perhaps my favorite of these three.

“Somewhere In Between” – Okay, maybe this one’s my favorite of the bunch – if for no other reason than the way it starts. The track was written, recorded, and pressed on a red 7″ as a part of the Lexington Art League’s 2013 ‘Community Supported Art’ project. The chorus reprises the feel of the intro, and adds layers of synths – between this track and “Light Bright” I’m really hopefully that Matt continues this trend of synths and inventive production for whatever album project he’s working on next, because it’s working very nicely. The outro adds a really subtle layer of the the chorus vocals (taken down an octave or two), that I mistook for just another layer of synths on the first listen, but it’s a really nice touch.

All three of these tracks are great, and when this project is taken as a whole, I’m pretty sure this whole FREE MUSIC project could have been released as a perfectly successful EP for Matt. He’ll be scaling back the frequency of his releases to once per month, but with his sights on releasing a “new (proper) album” – not a bad tradeoff, if you ask me.

Ben Southworth – December 28th, 2015 – Mount Horeb

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