Fresh from supporting Mumford and Sons on tour Matthew And The Atlas are one of the hottest rising folk bands in the UK, or at least the Southwest! Midas Mumford, sorry I mean Marcus Mumford and his sons have already set Johnny Flynn on fire, and the new folk revolution is truly in full stride. It’s exciting to be part of this newly exposed genre, but sad to see commercialisation tainting what started off organic and good. The earthy raw talent of bands such as Matthew And The Atlas amongst the Communion team is something to behold, now. We don’t need another radio worthy Mumford and Sons, but let them just be a reminder and a hook into the innocent folk scene. To go and buy records you only hear on vinyl not the internet, it’s a lost culture that this niche genre has managed to preserve. Mumford and Sons haven’t sold out (not yet I hope), and their success isn’t bad either as exposure for all smaller folk fish is just what they want. Mumford and the team know this, as they kindle the Communion label as a hub of up and coming talent, just like Matthew Hegarty. The EP launch at The Borderline in London celebrated with Communion’s finest with support from exciting newcomer Rachel Sermanni, Stokes William and the mysterious ‘Daughter’ to make this one hoedown to remember.
Matthew delivered his oak-barrelled odes in a classic quality, full of heartbreak and deliverance. Along with the inevitable contrasts to Mumford and Sons, Matthew’s lumberjack voice is reminiscent of Ray LaMontagne’s and harmonies resemble those of Bon Iver. Ironically the pastoral natures of his lyrics are genuinely heart felt as the singer’s also a landscape gardener. So he really is familiar with the dead leaves and withering roses. From brass duets (and incredible moustaches) the instrumentation is unadulterated new folk – acoustic guitars, accordion, banjo, trumpets, trombone, percussion; peaceful in the slow songs and powerful in the fast. Highlights include, “Within The Rose” and “Come Out Of The Woods”. The EP is avialble now on Ben Lovett‘s (the keyboard/accordion player in Mumford and Sons) Communion records.
In more ways than one, they have Ben Lovett and Mumford and Sons to thank for their success so far. Hopefully, however, Hegarty and his band can escape from their predecessors' shadow, to really come into a kingdom of their own.