There are records with empathy, records which are your friends and then there’s the others… There might be little difference between them, a certain «je ne sais quoi», an «almost nothing but still something» which makes the difference between almost pointless and vital records. Despite, or rather thanks to his cynical despair, Matt Elliott’s music never holds up a moralizing mirror to us – on the contrary, it creates a compassionate dialogue with listeners like the rhythm of two steps that synchronize to become as one.
In 2016, Matt Elliott brought out his seventh solo album The Calm Before whose obscure title is neither exactly threatening nor comforting… the calm before what? Before the storm for sure but maybe also before the great record, the immediate classic we felt might be coming for a long time in the dual discography of the Bristol-born artist working under his own name and his electronic alias Third Eye Foundation. The elegant details and perspectives of Little Lost Soul (2000) already hinted at the upcoming masterpiece from the English singer songwriter. The Mess We Made (2003) was Matt Elliott’s first solo album and portrayed a universe in a kind of flight towards Balkan horizons made up of visceral despair. With the Songs trilogy, he put aside the electronic side of his work to continue working with a minimalist, stark and lucid style of writing. The Broken Man (2012) was full of tears and long laments sometimes carried by Katia Labèque’s piano on a record which painted new shades of grey. On this record Matt began working with the producer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist David Chalmin (La Terre Invisible) who has kept on collaborating with the Bristol-born singer since then. Their partnership continued on Only Myocardial Infection Can Break Your Heart (2013) and The Calm Before (2016).
Stéphane Grégoire is the head of the Ici D’Ailleurs label which has accompanied Matt Elliott since 2005 and perhaps he describes this album the best: «This new record by Matt is without a doubt his best album to date, a record that takes him into another dimension where he fully asserts himself as a songwriter and singer of the calibre of artists like Bill Callahan, Leonard Cohen or Johnny Cash.