One of my favorite quotes is by singer and songwriter Macklemore. “It’s up to you to turn the pen into a machete and make sure that every beat that you meet gets killed.” I try to live by this line. It’s a perfect representation of what every author, filmmaker, singer, and songwriter strives for.
A remix of the old adage of the pen and the sword. How much more powerful is that line? To take the pen in your hand and not wait for it to become a sword but to create that sword and slay any obstacle in your way.
I recently had the opportunity to listen, for the first time might I add, to the music of Mark Mathews. Fizzy Beasts, to be precise. I pressed play and needed to write this review. I love music, though I tend to get most of my tracks from the radio, rarely seeking new and unique music, unless the radio tells me I should.
Yep, I’m a bit of a drone in that regard, don’t judge me. When I was younger, I would attend local concerts, picking up a few bands I still look for today, though the ones I really enjoyed are all but dead, having never caught that big break. Maybe they just needed a good review?
Anyway, back to the point: Mark Mathews. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first clicked play. As soon as those notes hit my ears, I fell in love. The sultry voice and soft tempo forced me to listen through to the end of the set.
I am, in fact, listening to it again, for the second time. The first track just started over and I had already forgotten how much I enjoyed it. He takes his pen and turns it into his machete, slaying the notes, creating sweet rhythm and harmony, and forcing your brain into a submission which begs for you to press play again as soon as it’s over.
I am a big fan of lyrics. One of the highlights of his music is the lyrics. They aren’t hidden by synthesizers or auto tuners, he blasts them from his vocal canal with the ferocity of a loving mother dragon, spewing them forth to your ear canals as his guitar, drum, piano, and other instruments aid their arrival.
Mathews sings of love, mostly, the love of a woman with raven hair who lives down under. In one song, The Flowers Still Grow, he throws in the sounds of the city, bikes and bike horns, the click of the gears as the wheels spin. I have to say, I love the image it gives me. For a second I thought that maybe I had a music video in the background and almost went to watch what was happening.
This is the type of music I imagine listening to while…well, writing. Like I am right now. Or sitting in a Barnes and Noble listening while browsing some random novel. I can take a step out of what I’m doing to relax with the music and then immediately pick back up where I left off without missing a beat. A sweet, sweet beat. Delivered by Mark.
He is described as “the hardest working solo artist in the UK right now” That’s cool, good on him, but who really cares? I, for one, don’t other than to commend him for being hard working, but you can be a hard working stable hand and simply have a pile of cow manure at the end of the day. Gratefully, that isn’t what you end up with at the end of Mark Mathews music.
You end with an enjoyable listening experience. And I have ended up being a new fan. I plan on listening to more of his music in the future. You should check it out if you’re into mellow tones and smooth voices. Fizzy Beasts is available April 5th.