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Unfamiliar Faces

Matt Costa

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Album Review

Matt Costa's sophomore effort, Unfamiliar Faces, finds the singer/songwriter delving into similar territory to his 2006 debut, Songs We Sing, crafting hummable, somewhat intricate AM pop-influenced tracks. As with other similarly inclined artists like Josh Rouse, Costa trades in a kind of grab bag, post-alternative rock singer/songwriter style that references '80s British icons like Morrissey and the Cure as much as it does classic singer/songwriter and sunshine pop touchstones like Todd Rundgren, Brian Wilson, Jackson Browne, and others. A pleasant presence on record, Costa's vocal style does bring to mind a mix of the Shins' James Mercer and the Decemberists' Colin Meloy, and admittedly his odd penchant for affecting a British accent is a bit annoying — he's from California for gosh sake. That said, tracks like "Mr. Pitiful" and "Cigarette Eyes" are immediately catchy and radio-ready singles that display Costa's obvious knack for Brit-pop-inspired songcraft. Similarly, such atmospheric and melancholy affairs as the very Smiths-sequel "Vienna" and countryish "Never Looking Back" are affecting and moving ballads perfect for the afterglow set.

Biography

Born: 1982 in Huntington Beach, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Born in Huntington Beach, California, in 1982, Matt Costa received his first guitar at age 12. While he was always interested in music, even playing in a band in high school, Costa's first love was skateboarding. His dreams of going pro came crashing to an end, however, when he seriously injured his leg in a skateboarding accident at 18. During his year-and-a-half-long rehabilitation period, Costa decided to refocus his energy on songwriting and guitar playing, and began using a four-track to make...
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Unfamiliar Faces, Matt Costa
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