Mathew Sawyer and The Ghosts How Snakes Eat

Mathew Sawyer and The Ghosts How Snakes Eat
Mathew Sawyer's particular niche is a little wider than most people's. He is a renowned visual artist, played drums for the 2004 incarnation of the Television Personalities and has recorded on his own for more than a decade. But it wasn't until the release of 2007's Blue Bird's Blood with his Ghosts that his music started to make waves, and with good reason. How Snakes Eat continues in a similar vein, with a brand of English folk music that is both familiar and strangely individual. His time with the Television Personalities didn't go to waste, and the spirit of the still-alive Dan Treacy washes over many of the songs. That translates into a delicate balance between poignancy and humour that never veers too far in any direction. Sawyer's wonderful sense of control prevents the quirk from taking over and that's what makes the music so compelling, be it simply voice and piano ("To Pour Like English Taps"), ramshackle full band ("Caroline") or anything in between. And while his voice is undeniably a little unusual, it becomes hard to imagine anybody else telling these stories. This is a truly unique and spectacularly good record. (Fire)