If I had to describe these songs with one word, I'd say "Raw".
Matt Ratt's Old Songs EP (though, with 8 songs, I'd almost call it an album) is a fantastic singer-songwriter accomplishment that goes beyond expectations. From nostalgia to murder to love, the breadth of topics does not leave one wanting. The EP opens up with the song "Change", which perfectly encapsulates the moods and feelings of the rest of the EP. From "Change", we are lead on another lyrical journey with the musical guise of a pub shanty; "Cheap Beer and Wine" brings the folk music influence to the forefront.
Matt leads us further into a darker story this time, describing the everyday horrors of the ghetto. Dead Man Park is definitely one of the shining stars of the records. The outstanding lyrics continue throughout the rest of the album with perfect guitar accompaniment. Since the record is only vocals and guitar, it feels intimate, like Matt is playing directly for you in a coffee shop, or on the street corner. When I said raw, this is what I meant. Genuine. Real. Tangible. The songs are very personal, and seemingly let Matt's personality shine through, which is a truly phenomenal accomplishment.
Old Songs' 8th song is a cover of Vanessa Carlton's A Thousand Miles, which Matt truly makes his own here, and makes it really fit into the aesthetic of the EP. The record ends with the Stockton anthem, "Stockton Belongs to Me", which was dedicated to the Empresso coffee shop, a place dear to many Stockton dwellers which recently was forced to close.
Overall, Matt Ratt's Old Songs EP is an incredible accomplishment of songwriting and is honestly a huge inspiration to me personally as a songwriter.
We here at Indie-Stockton hope Matt keeps recording and releasing music, because we are both huge fans.
Matt, keep kicking ass.
Indie-Stockton did an interview with Matt before this record was released! You can check it out here.