Published Oct 21, 2020It's hard to dislike Matthew Goud. Let Me Roar, his latest record as Northcote, shows an artist eager to please with frank, heart-on-sleeve lyricism and comforting acoustic arrangements. Reminiscent of the earnest energy of indie-folk acts like the Head and the Heart, Frank Turner and Passenger, Goud's latest is a brief but enjoyable statement geared towards winning listeners over with its easygoing, folksy charm.
Goud works hard to create an intimate, welcoming space on Let Me Roar and he largely succeeds. The record benefits strongly from its warm production touches, including lots of ringing lead guitar lines and light synthesizer backdrops. Tracks like "Keep on Saying Goodbye" bring an emphatic vocal performance on one of the record's stronger choruses, while "Streets of Gold" is a more stripped back affair that uses background synth pad touches well.
Goud is not immune to overly clichéd lyrical clunkers, but his earnest and genuine delivery makes it easy to forgive him. His approach to lyricism on Let Me Roar suggests he's not necessarily mining for profound truths, but rather letting his own perceptions speak for themselves. It makes for a pleasant, likeable record, where it's hard not to be disarmed by Goud's authenticity. (Black Box)