13 Songs, 53 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

This acoustic remake of Halifax rocker Matt Mays’ hard-charging 2017 release Once Upon a Hell of a Time… isn’t just a simple strip-down: It’s a wholesale reimagining that radically alters the tone and character of its source material through more elegiac vocal performances and eclectic instrumentation. Where “Sentimental Sins” was once powered by a tense, ’80s-Springsteen thrust, here it emerges from a haze of Indian percussion and drone to ease us into Mays’ raw, dark-night-of-the-soul reading, in which lines like “How am I supposed to get to you if I can’t see past the bar” are imbued with a deeper sense of despair. But the most dramatic reinterpretation is reserved for the open-freeway power-pop anthem “Perfectly Wasted,” which is reborn as the sort of folky sea shanty you’d hear in some maritime pub at last call, complete with a drunken choir gathered around the piano.

EDITORS’ NOTES

This acoustic remake of Halifax rocker Matt Mays’ hard-charging 2017 release Once Upon a Hell of a Time… isn’t just a simple strip-down: It’s a wholesale reimagining that radically alters the tone and character of its source material through more elegiac vocal performances and eclectic instrumentation. Where “Sentimental Sins” was once powered by a tense, ’80s-Springsteen thrust, here it emerges from a haze of Indian percussion and drone to ease us into Mays’ raw, dark-night-of-the-soul reading, in which lines like “How am I supposed to get to you if I can’t see past the bar” are imbued with a deeper sense of despair. But the most dramatic reinterpretation is reserved for the open-freeway power-pop anthem “Perfectly Wasted,” which is reborn as the sort of folky sea shanty you’d hear in some maritime pub at last call, complete with a drunken choir gathered around the piano.

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