14 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

So far, Matt Kivel’s decision to focus on his solo albums and forego involvement in Princeton or Gap Dream has proven to be the right decision. 2013’s Double Exposure had all the allure and intimacy that a solo album usually involves, while the follow-up—2014’s Days of Being Wild—splits the difference between true solo work and that of a small band. “The First Time” starts acoustically, pointing out the fact that the album was recorded by Paul Oldham in a small shed-studio in Los Angeles. However, with “Underwater” onward, the approach often settles on additional instrumentation, with Oldham sitting in on bass and Dave Kitz adding drums to two tracks. “Open Road” turns up the guitar distortion, creating a Sun Kil Moon–type acoustic-gone-electric feel. “Insignificance” nails a new wave pop vibe, while “Little Girls” evokes a lush but lo-fi somber pop. Kivel states in the press notes that he’d been listening to classic rock radio at the time of making this album; the title track, “Blonde Boy,” and “You and Only I” have accessible pop melodies that make his claim sound plausible.

EDITORS’ NOTES

So far, Matt Kivel’s decision to focus on his solo albums and forego involvement in Princeton or Gap Dream has proven to be the right decision. 2013’s Double Exposure had all the allure and intimacy that a solo album usually involves, while the follow-up—2014’s Days of Being Wild—splits the difference between true solo work and that of a small band. “The First Time” starts acoustically, pointing out the fact that the album was recorded by Paul Oldham in a small shed-studio in Los Angeles. However, with “Underwater” onward, the approach often settles on additional instrumentation, with Oldham sitting in on bass and Dave Kitz adding drums to two tracks. “Open Road” turns up the guitar distortion, creating a Sun Kil Moon–type acoustic-gone-electric feel. “Insignificance” nails a new wave pop vibe, while “Little Girls” evokes a lush but lo-fi somber pop. Kivel states in the press notes that he’d been listening to classic rock radio at the time of making this album; the title track, “Blonde Boy,” and “You and Only I” have accessible pop melodies that make his claim sound plausible.

TITLE TIME

About Matt Kivel

Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Matt Kivel began working as a player in various bands including the indie-minded Princeton, and later played guitar in the garage pop band Gap Dream. Around 2013, Kivel quit playing with other bands to focus on his solo material. The first evidence of his work came in the form of some limited-run cassettes, but he truly came into his own with 2013's full-length album Double Exposure, released on the Olde English Spelling Bee label. Kivel's solo work took a decidedly more subdued path than his previous affiliations, with shimmering ambient synths meeting muted acoustic songwriting and understated vocals. Second album Days of Being Wild, recorded with Palace Brothers member Paul Oldham over the course of the previous summer, saw release on the Woodsist label in 2014 ~ Fred Thomas

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