New Release Rack: Matt Durfee’s “Little World”
Singer-songwriter Matt Durfee is certainly no stranger to Nippertown music fans. He first made a name for himself as half of the acoustic duo Palatypus, his musical partnership with M.R. Poulopoulos, and more recently he’s been fronting the Rattling Baddlies, the acoustic trio that also features percussionist Tommy Krebs and bassist August Sagehorn, the rhythm section of Alta Mira.
So, given his Local 518 musical history, it’s somewhat surprising that it’s only now that Durfee has come around to releasing his solo debut, Little World. Not that the nine-song disc disc was an easy birth; he’s been working on it for two and a half years, finally closing out the deal with a successful Kickstarter campaign that wrapped up in September.
Perfectionist? Maybe. But that’s not a bad thing if the results are as sparkling as Little World.
Durfee will be fronting the Rattling Baddlies on Saturday night (November 23) when he celebrates the release of Little World with a party and performance at Red Square in Albany. Opening the show at 8pm will be Alta Mira and Henry’s Rifle. Admission is $7.
Recorded and mixed by Maggot Brain’s Ryan Slowey at Empty House Studios, the album features a wide range of Local 518 musicians. In addition to Poulopoulos, Krebs and Sagehorn, musical contributors include Charmboy’s Sarah Clark on keyboards, the Red Haired Strangers’ John Rice (slide guitar) and Ryan Dunham (harmonica), Erin Harkes and members of the SwordPaw Collective.
Durfee’s own musical arsenal includes a distinctive, instantly identifiable voice as well as his considerable finger-picking skills, but his strongest musical asset is his songwriting talent. Though rooted in folk, his songs reach far beyond the genre’s boundaries to embrace a progressive acoustic attack that comes to the fore on “Kid Gloves” and the album’s closing triptych of tunes – “The Space of a Breath,” the chugging murder ballad “The Whole Nine” and “Everyone Wants to Be Right.”
This is smart stuff – packed with memorable couplets o’ wisdom, unexpected musical twists and turns and impressive lyrical narratives (especially “The Whole Nine”). It’s heady and thoroughly engaging listening experience throughout.