Matt Epp Safe or Free

Matt Epp is the quintessential itinerant troubadour. Committed to his musical craft, he gave up his Winnipeg, MB apartment two years ago for the privilege of performing and connecting with people around the world. From his choice of lifestyle to his tousled mane it's obvious he'd rather be free than safe, but songs like "Cover Me," "They Won't Find The Bodies" or "This Old House" contradict such posturing, at least when it comes to matters of the heart. The silhouette of a hobo's careless ease grows faint with every listen, and what emerges from his poetry are fierce loyalty and romantic idealism. Safe or Free isn't the kind of album that will instantly hook you. Rather, with Epp's soothing voice, its gentle ballads will linger in your mind, coaxing you into lending your ear. This is where Matt Epp carves out his home. In return for your hospitality, he'll whisper reassuringly that, with some faith and an open heart, you too can be both safe and free. (Independent)