Matt Costa Unfamiliar Faces

If waves were made of cotton candy and beaches of sugar crystals, the soundtrack to a perfect sunny day would be Unfamiliar Faces. Or at least that’s what Matt Costa’s opening track "Mr. Pitiful” suggests. Syncopated piano chords bubble through Costa’s light-hearted voice while jubilant handclaps get the feet marching and the troubadour within eager to sing along. "Lilacs” keeps in tune with the same saccharine pop sound, albeit with a bit more rock that closely resembles the Shins, pre-Wincing The Night Away. As the album progresses, we get into the heart of Costa’s signature folk melodies. "Never Looking Back” and "Cigarette Eyes” bring out the concrete acoustic material that forms the basis of the album. Although there’s definitely a lot of upbeat sweetness to Unfamiliar Faces, Matt Costa is careful to mix in enough wholesome folk rock roughage to make things a bit easier to digest. (Brushfire)