Recommended Tracks: “Halo”, “Healing”, “Badly”
Artists You May Like: Sam Smith, JP Saxe, JP Cooper
Over the years, contemporary pop artist Mathew V has graced us with his soulful vocals and chart-topping hits. While we have learned many things about Mathew through his telling collection of songs, there are still some topics that Mathew has kept to himself – until now. Following a slew of singles that he has released this year, Mathew gives us The Outer Circle EP, which focuses on moments and emotions that he never fully processed due to his busy lifestyle. The result is a beautiful project that allows Mathew to let go of all that has been keeping him down to better enjoy where he is in his life today.
The six tracks on the EP bring forth captivating visuals alluding to the coming-of-age experiences that Mathew V so earnestly describes. Whether Mathew is talking about revisiting a place he is outgrown, finding his worth, or making peace with past relationships, he makes sure to touch on small details unique to those stories that further let you in. These small details are conveyed through descriptions such as “I still feel the dust / Still taste the smoke,” like on “Around Here,” and “She will lay her hand right where mine used to be,” as we hear on “Written Out.” By incorporating the senses, Mathew makes the settings, the people, and the feelings all the more real – and our hearts all the more anguished.
Mathew’s voice definitely does not alleviate any of the pain, as his soulful vocals unapologetically cut through you. His expressive timbre comes on strong on opening track “Halo,” which is emphasized with layers of backing vocals and melodic guitar before becoming more exposed on “Healing,” where it is just Mathew and an acoustic guitar. Even when he sings falsetto on tracks like “Left Your Mark,” Mathew brings an intensity to the game, encouraging you to listen to the lighter moments instead of letting them fade into the background.
While Mathew’s vocals are exciting enough on their own, they really stand out when paired with the right accompaniment. On the stirring “Badly,” for instance, we get driving rhythms, hand snaps, and relaxed strums of the guitar that propel the sassy tone of the lyrics. Meanwhile, the soft piano on “Left Your Mark” and downhearted strings on “Around Here” instill the desolation that Mathew carries in his voice as he reminisces. The more instrumentation we get, the better, as a fuller sound just strengthens these songs and stabilizes the quieter moments we hear throughout the EP.
All in all, The Outer Circle EP showcases Mathew’s strengths as an artist, along with his personal weaknesses. By giving us a new body of work that shows another side of him, Mathew is finding ways to surprise his audience and grow as an artist. As he continues to challenge himself and keep things interesting, his music will only tug on our heartstrings even more and make us fall in love with its sounds over and over again.
You can listen to The Outer Circle on platforms like Apple Music and Spotify.