Across the Sea
Exploring the lands of pop,rock, and folk music, Matthew de Zoete combines rhythmic inventiveness with an astonishing gift for melody to discover a territory entirely his own. With a distinct voice and strong sense of harmonic structure, the 25 year-old from Hamilton, Ontario, has crafted a debut album of surprising breadth and depth. By turns simple and complex, Across the Sea reveals an underlying philosophy that every element of a recording exists to serve and strengthen each song. Ranging from simple guitar and brass ballads to joyful pop revelries, the songs are united by de Zoete's engaging voice and startlingly honest lyrics. The album's recurring themes of distance and separation, be it physical, temporal, or emotional, underpin reflections on family history, dying relationships, and farewell lullabies. While his music resists direct categorization or genealogy, shades of Harrison, Davies, and Drake appear, as does the influence of contemporaries like Elliott Smith and Ron Sexsmith. Produced by Dave King and released in February 2006 on ShipRecords, Across the Sea takes the artist and listener through sonic realms beyond the reach of most songwriters. With this strong debut, Matthew de Zoete shows promise as a young artist with a natural sense of melody and a refined aesthetic. 'First records aren't supposed to be this well crafted, this measured, this beautiful, but - impossibly - this one is.' - Steel City Music 'Each track is a test in musical restraint, as de Zoete inherently and successfully understood, throughout each track that his music requires less to achieve more.' - EXCLAIM!