“…Matt Russell’s music is lovely and grave and endlessly resourceful.

It’s neither timeless as pop nor timely as punk but wonderfully anachronistic — from a moment you’ll never quite put your finger on.

His fierce vocals seem to emerge from near the pit of the stomach and his growl diffuses itself around melodic and complex lyrical phrasing.

Fragments of philosophy, almost cinematic conversations, a bleak kind of traveling journalism, and forthright confession make for a stark poetics.

Russell’s music hums with moving parts.

His guitar slips from solemnly meditative to ramshackle punk to folk idyllic and back again.

The stunning complexity of the upright bass stakes out the underside of the music with an almost secret jazz—like a virtuoso forced to play rock at gunpoint.

Long in exile, strings and horns are welcomed into Russell’s republic, and take their place alongside nimble percussion and shrewd keyboards.

In the end, every song manages to sound like exactly what it is: a mix of inspiration and honest hard work.

-Brent S. Sirota, music critic