Matthew de Zoete Across The Sea

Hamilton, ON’s youthful music community is usually synonymous with two stylistic outputs; loud and crap. One has to grow up and out in this city to begin to fathom how to write angry music in a beautiful manner in Hamilton, as noticed by the more mature blues and soul community that flourishes here. Yet, as in any axiom, exceptions are commonplace and Matthew de Zoete’s debut CD is one such exception. Having toyed around the city strumming quiet ditties for years, de Zoete’s inaugural full-length is a buoyant collection of slow hand lullabies brimming with quiescent, oceanic inspiration. Possibly quelled from learning of the long, quiet journeys that encapsulated the trans-Atlantic mass emigration in war times, each track is a test in musical restraint, as de Zoete inherently successfully understood, throughout each track that his music requires less to achieve more. Alongside Dave King (Chore), Graham Walsh (Holy Fuck) and Julie Fader among others, Across the Sea is a relaxing treat, like a nice warm lager in a time-trapped British pub. My earlier observation is obviously flawed; Hamilton rocks, just in an unconventional rock-less manner. (Hush)