Time for another enticing edition of “Earthspice dumps her fangirling obsessions into Tumblr”, because it’s easier that way….
If you didn’t catch my last few posts, I found out last week that Matt Berry made music. That was cool in itself. Even cooler; his style of music is right up my alley, but just how fucking good his music was, blew my mind and has kept it blown for about a week now.
Seriously, this guy’s ruining music for me. I’ve been listening to his music almost exclusively since I discovered it last week. It’s so good that I’m having trouble listening to anything else.
Like most people, even though I love an artist’s music in general, I certainly don’t have to enjoy every single song of theirs, on every album they’ve ever released.
I put together a Playlist of my favorites. If you like his music, take it for a spin and let me know what you think. I tested it out on a few people so far. Most recently, I showed it to my sister and brother and low as we were driving through Death Valley. Like me before this last week, they were already a fan but just thought he was hilarious and had no idea that he made music like this. Needless to say, they weren’t disappointed.
Here’s the Matt Berry playlist I made (and my thoughts on them).
1. Snuff Box Theme - I figured, what better way to start a playlist than with an opening theme song? This show is hilarious, and it’s what opened me to his music to begin with. There are certain songs where the introduction feels like a prelude to some really important shit. This is no exception. Also, if his vocals were any more perfect, it just might break the physical limitations of the third dimension…
2. Hot Dog - From Opium, the intro of this song reminds me of something that the Doors would make, and later on, it reminds me a bit of Frank Zappa. (Actually, if those two bands had a love child, it would fit this song perfectly.) I don’t usually pay attention to lyrics or take any meaning from them. So, to the best of my knowledge, this song deals with the vicious cycle of a drug addiction: Realizing you need help, but that’s usually when you hit rock bottom and eventually revert back to your old ways. (One thing that never ceases to amuse me if when he cuts back from his angelic singing voice, into his ordinary speaking voice, because I just hear Douglas Rehnoylm.) When I played this for another buddy of mine the other day, he asked me, “who’s that woman that sings harmony with him?”
I asked him “What woman?” When he pointed it out, I said, “Yeah, I’m not convinced that’s a woman…” I tried looking it up but I couldn’t find anything on it. If that is a woman on the track, the woman I picture looks something like this:
3. Devil Inside Me - This one is from Kill the Wolf and it’s a beautiful song from start to finish. It’s fast enough to have a great beat, but flows beautifully. My advice is to listen to this when you’re driving along somewhere really pretty and cool like this:
(I think this was on the way to the Devil’s Golf Course BTW)
4. The Signs - This one starts strong and ends strong. It’s one of the few that you can really rock out to. Again, the vocals are absolutely OUTSTANDING, and since it’s one of the more “normal” ones, it’s usually one of the first that I use to introduce people to his music that haven’t heard it before.
5. Opium - You can’t go wrong with a title track. This is another one that’s beautiful from start to finish, and again, it gives you such a pleasant experience if you’re listening to this when you’re somewhere pretty:
(How’s that?) It also kind of reminds me of something that Andrew Bird would make. He’s another phenomenal musician.
5. Into the Sky - As much as I love to rave that Matt Berry has a sensationally beautiful voice, it is absolutely LOVELY in this song! I’ve been having trouble explaining this, but some people give off a certain light that seems to radiate directly from their soul. That light is particularly prominent in his voice in this song, as he seems to pour his heart into it. The overall style of this reminds me of the band Chicago, as the flow and mood reminds me of a fall day.
6. So Low - Back to the hard rocking fast paced 70s style music. One thing that I really appreciate is how the song can take one tone, and do a complete 180 degree turn for the last 20 seconds or so. (I still feel like I need to give people a heads up about that.)
7. Knock Knock - Getting into the more spiritually evolved, this is another song that’s beautiful all throughout. I don’t always appreciate the little pagan round at the end, but it was surprisingly pleasant over a fire pit last night. I couldn’t tell if the crackles were my fire, or the one in the song. Since the end of this can be a bit of a turn-off for me, I decided to make the next one an extremely upbeat and happy one.
8. Medicine - This is one of my all time favorites. It’s a very simple song but simplicity isn’t always a bad thing. This song is one of those “feel good” songs that’s genuinely good for the soul.
9. Accident at a Harvest Festival - This is one of Witchazel’s rare waltzes. The vocals are extremely melodic in this one and while it’s one of the slower songs, it flows exceptionally well. Besides, I had to put in something to break up the awesomeness of Medicine and the next one.
10. The Pheasant - This is one of the most well composed songs that I’ve ever heard and cannot speak highly enough of it. It’s about a snowball in hell of a chance, but I really wonder if this song might be modeled off a DMT trip because it mimics one perfectly!
(If you’ve never tried DMT, it’s one of the rare, truly exceptional soul enhancing experiences. It takes you from one reality to the next. Each one becomes increasing stranger and more beautiful. My friends like to call these transitions “breakthroughs”, and if you’ve had one of these trips, you know what I’m talking about. In the end, you’re so far gone and so immersed in another universe, that by the time it gently floats you back to reality you often think, “Oh yeah… THIS is where I came from… How could I forget that? This song feels the same way)
11. From the Manger to the Mortuary - Similar to the previous DMT analogy, this songs feels like a REALLY GOOD ACID TRIP to me. You’re flying high the entire time, with some random craziness that creates such a euphoria for me, that I actually laugh when I listen to it. It’s some really incredible stuff. Like some of the others, this one also takes a really weird turn at the end. It reminds me, either of a carnival, or a Renaissance fair. Can’t be too sure.
(Yeah. Something like that)
12. Roosting Time - A lot of his music is classified as “Neo-pagan Folk”. This is another slower one that really makes me want to burn some herbs over a fire in the woods somewhere, preferably around a sunset… This one ends with a lovely reprise of Take My Hand.
13. Take My Hand - After Roosting Time, this one just makes sense. Another beautiful song that’s a bit more upbeat than the last one. It has some amazing harmonies and as far as the strange stuff near the end, this one takes the cake. (Might be a little bit freaky if you listen to this when you’re stoned, or you might just get off on it enough to adore it.)
14. October Sun - This one has an incredibly smooth flow. So smooth, that I feel like I’m flying when I listen to it. It’s not a fast soar like From the Manger to the Mortuary, but rather a gentle effortless float. Actually, the tone of this song, has a very somber beauty. All I’m saying is that, if I actually find myself floating above my body when I die, and I hear music, it better be this one!
15. A Song for Rosie - This is much happier than the previous one and it’s the only one on here that I would really consider “Folk” music. On top of that, this song is just plain cute :)
16. Solstice - When I listen to this, I get very nostalgic of my early pagan days, casting circles in the woods with my friends. This one’s pretty fucking great to meditate to, or listen to while you’re walking around in the woods. This is on par with Pheasant in its complexity, but the flow is a little more fluid, working its way up to the killer guitar near the end. I now start to get depressed when I hear this, because I know that my playlist is coming to an end :( If I have my way, this guy will hopefully never stop making music. It’s too good.