Matt Monsoor – The Rower

I had my initial Covid-19 vaccination earlier this week. I know that, for some people, the  days following the first jab have been pretty horrible; fevers, shakes and unbearable headaches as their immune system deals with the dose. I’m happy to report that I felt none of this; perhaps there was an insignificant headache but that might have been a consequence of having to stare at the laptop screen for too long. The day job has been pretty intense this week. 

Matt Monsoor, in his own words ‘a nobody from Wisconsin‘, also had his first jab this week. I know this because he tells me so in an engaging and informative note he sent to me. “A bit of normalcy will feel good again.“, he says “Even though there is still work to be done, with the sight and feel of spring in the air it sure helps.“. Sonic Breakfast does not consider Matt to be a nobody. 

Indeed, on the evidence of recent single ‘The Rower’, Matt has a creativity and vision that demands much attention. “Honestly, I just got tired of people waving their Jesus saves flags while behaving like really awful people at the same time.“, he says. “The hypocrisy and greed in America was becoming more ruthless and embarrassing by the minute. It’s been ten years since my last release so apparently i had a few things to get off my chest.

This commentary on the divided state of America runs deep. I can’t help but reflect upon my own disdain over the current state of this post-Brexit Britain when Matt says “it was a great sense of relief to get egomaniac trump out of the house but also really disappointing to see how it all shook down. So much damage has already been done and the division here has been intense. Trump and his cronies have brought out the worst in everyone. Now in the last week we’ve had two mass shootings to add to the deadliest gun violence in decades yet they still argue about reform. It’s all so sad and incredibly frustrating.

A friend mentioned earlier this week that he’d been told to fuck off when asking another shopper to wear their mask properly in a supermarket. It sounds like things aren’t that different over the pond. “Some people here go about their business as if it’s just another day.“, mentions Matt. “Depending on what state you live in determines what you can and can’t do. They should just call it america cause there is no such thing as united states here with all the divisiveness.

I’m getting distracted. This is supposed to be a piece about ‘The Rower’. It’s quite a tune; a breathy, appetising Blues-based starter gives way to a psychedelic poppy middle and conclusion. For me, it’s a long lost unreleased track by Marc Bolan; fab alt-folk that’s making a comment about those who use religion to nullify their minds. “I think the accumulation of frustration over the last four years came to a head sometime over this last summer.“, says Matt. “I’d spend my time in my shop playing my 55LG2 and found the opening chords to be a relief valve. I’d just play them over and over. I enjoyed the minor chords aggressiveness.The song just kinda fell out of that. Splat. It has felt good to put something out again after such a long gap.

Don’t just take my word for it. Enrich your weekend with ‘The Rower’. It’s exactly the sort of quirky gem that Sonic Breakfast was established for. 

 

 

A Choir Of Ghosts – Skin & Bones

James Auger is the man behind A Choir of Ghosts. A Brit who has chosen to live in Sweden, he writes intense alt-folk tunes about the wilderness, Scandinavian forests and the human lot. He’s pretty good at it.

James will be releasing a few tunes and videos during 2021 (on Greywood Records) but, this morning, Sonic Breakfast brings it back to a song that was released in the build up to Christmas 2020, ‘Skin & Bones.’

Sometimes, the video is enough and in this gem with its fire, spirit of adventure, log cabins and beautiful surrounds, I’m sure there’s much escapism to be had. We’re all grappling on whether we’d be breaking lockdown rules if we go on a walk to the local nature reserve and so here, Sonic Breakfast brings scenery and being able to wash your face in icy lakes straight to your door. It’s perhaps best to overlook the sinister chase scenes and ritualistic dances at the end of the video though if you’re in this just for a getaway.

“The song is about the realization that you can’t always “fix it” for the people you love.“, says James about ‘ Skin & Bones’. “Sometimes they have to solve it themselves, and you can’t do anything but watch and hope for the best. In order for things to grow to it’s full potential, you sometimes have to let go.”

I know that friends of mine have often had to bite their tongues when they see me taking unwise paths. I thank them for giving me that freedom and acknowledge that my stubbornness in pursuing my own things must be frustrating. And I also know that I’m one of the first to pass comment on the direction that others are taking. With the very best of intentions, I think I’m helping when I’m likely not.

Tuesday is a day to let it go with A Choir Of Ghosts as your breakfast soundtrack.