Syd Matters

Ghost Days

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Although French singer/songwriter Jonathan Morali has carefully constructed a persona under the name Syd Matters, that of a slightly agoraphobic romantic writing and recording haunted musical messages from the safety of his bedsit, his third album features the debut of Syd Matters the band, a quintet featuring himself, two other guitarist-keyboardists (one of whom doubles on flute) and a rhythm section. The fuller sound of Ghost Days suits Morali's songs beautifully, giving them more depth and a certain level of lo-fi elegance. The soigné mopery of songs like "I Was Asleep" and the epic "Me and My Horses" is just the sort of wistful sadness that feels particularly nice to sink into on a rainy, lonely day, and the lyrics are salted with just enough flashes of happiness to keep the album from turning into a brooding downer. Fans of the Pernice Brothers, the darker side of Belle & Sebastian, and other acolytes of Nick Drake will find much to love here.

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