Matthew Shadley Band’s latest offering, “1970 Something“, proves to be a remarkable follow-up to their first album in 14 years, “Emerald“. Released on 10 July 2023, the album boasts eight original songs penned by the band’s primary content creator, Matthew Shadley Brauer, along with two thoughtfully selected cover songs originally by Big Star and Steely Dan.
Originating in Cincinnati, Ohio, back in 2003, Matthew Shadley Band quickly garnered recognition as “Cincinnati’s live show specialists.” Although they went on hiatus in 2008, the band experienced a resurrection during the challenging COVID lockdowns of 2020, thanks to Brauer’s vision and musical fervour.
From his recording studio on the scenic Outer Banks of North Carolina, Brauer showcases his multi-instrumentalist talents on “1970 Something“. The album artfully captures the essence of the 1970s, transporting listeners on a nostalgic journey through the era’s diverse musical landscape. Much like its predecessor “Emerald,” Brauer takes the reins on the majority of the instruments, complemented by the expertise of acclaimed studio musicians such as Kenny Aronoff, Mauricio Herrera, Norman Garschke, Darby Todd, Mat Hector, and Rikard Ford.
“1970 Something” delivers an eclectic mix of sonic experiences that traverse various genres with ease. From the psychedelic, borderline prog-rock instrumentals of “Panorama” and “Intrigue at the Disco” to the hard-rocking power pop anthems “Believe,” “I’m Alright,” and “Don’t Need a Reason Why,” the album showcases the band’s versatility and musical prowess. A standout track, “Hashtag World,” defies easy categorization, further exemplifying the band’s willingness to explore innovative soundscapes.
Brauer’s deep-rooted love for the music of the 1970s is evident throughout the album. The tracks pay homage to classic rock’s timeless elements, featuring the warm embrace of tube amplifiers, iconic guitar solos that ignite the soul, infectious funky rhythms, and the rich tapestry of vintage keyboards. Layered harmony vocals complete the package, delivering a sense of nostalgia that is both comforting and invigorating.
“My earliest musical memories occurred in the 1970s and have informed every musical direction I’ve ever taken,” explains Brauer. “This album has a harder edge to it, but I think it’s consistent with most of my previous endeavours.” Indeed, “1970 Something” seamlessly blends the nostalgia of the past with a contemporary edge, making it a compelling and engaging listen.
In conclusion, Matthew Shadley Band’s “1970 Something” is a testament to Brauer’s musical vision and his ability to capture the spirit of an iconic era. With its diverse sonic palette and expertly crafted compositions, the album stands as a testament to the band’s enduring talent and creativity. Whether you’re a fan of classic rock or an aficionado of inventive soundscapes, “1970 Something” promises an exhilarating and immersive musical experience that will leave you yearning for more.