Climbing by Matt Russell
By Russell Bartholomee

Matt Russell is a stunningly good songwriter, and Climbing is a beautiful collection of songs. The album was recorded last year in an empty apartment while Russell was in the process of moving from Chicago to the east coast, and the sparely furnished rooms and bare walls must have heavily influenced Russell’s sparely-produced, mainly acoustic songs. Russell’s voice is both powerful and gentle, bringing Bruce Springsteen and Grant Lee Phillips to mind. And while the instrumentation is minimal, the quiet stillness of the arrangements serves the songs’ melancholy themes very well.

Key Cuts: “Climbing,” “Passerby,” “New Buffalo,” and “My Way Home”

Recommended for fans of: Springsteen’s Nebraska, Grant Lee Buffalo.