Matthew & The Atlas “This Place We Live”

Communion Records, 2023

Intimate relatable record from UK based outfit.

It has been four years now since we had a chance to hear something from Matt Hegarty and his Matthew & The Atlas. Now, Hegarty and the band return with a new album ‘This Place We Live,’ and on this evidence it’s great to have them back. With Hegarty, it was always the case of very high-quality songwriting matching a strident voice. This time around, he confirms that both of these qualities of his music are fully intact, with some intimate and personal songwriting focusing on the themes of nostalgia and reflection.  The songs are full of stories about his hometown and youth, with alternatively warmer (‘Pushkar’) or darker (‘Into The Bars’) leanings.

At the same time, it seems that Hegarty and the band have gone a step further with their arrangement and production values, with the sound of all the songs having fuller, richer overtones, something that fully suits both the music and the lyrics here. Hegarty, who produced the album himself, goes for touches of discrete synths, drum machines, and atmospheric pads that at no point overshadow the songs but add that extra element to them.

While ‘This Place We Live’ is surely deep-seated album, it is one that listeners should be able to relate to, reminiscing about their own past experiences which is a hallmark of all the best music.


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