I once had my heart broken so badly that I was uncertain if I would ever be able to love again, or if I even wanted too. I was so full of confusion, sadness, anger, and self-hate that my whole life just collapsed. I was losing days to depression and even when I had higher functioning days it still kind of loomed over me, dragging down and affecting all my interactions and my energy level. It took me over a year to get out of that awful state and now I think of the past with my ex seldom, and live a happy life full of meaning. It was during that period though that I came across “Matt Elliott”, whose majority of songs spoke to my mentality at the time, of feeling wounded, bitter and self-conflicted. Although I would be hesitant to put those labels onto Eliott’s music, I would say that his songs have a deep sense of tragedy as a general theme. This becomes evident in the song titles themselves “I Would Have Woken You With this Song” in title alone is heartbreaking, given the understanding of Eliott’s overall work and common themes. So my initial connection with Matt and his work came from rather a dark hurtful place.
When I am in high spirits I still often find solace in music within more morose themes. Music has been established as a coping mechanism and it has certainly been an escape for me since I was small. It should be noted though, that not all coping methods are positive as overindulgence in a certain emotion can be detrimental. Regardless, I can say that Matt Elliott was with me through my tough time and I still admire his work even after finding stable ground.
When I think of why I like Matt Elliott I seem to focus on the lyrics, however some of his tracks are instrumentals, and some contain scant vocals. The instrumentation itself compliments his tragic tales. The instrumentation is simple, yet beautiful and adds to the feeling of loss by creating a light and engaging sound underscored by harrowing lyrics. In order to create tragedy, you need to have something beautiful taken away, and I feel that the instrumentation brings forth that feeling of loss in a profound and engaging way. With the music carrying a deceiving, uplifting tone, I can imagine people who listen to it without taking in the lyrics may believe his work to be more upbeat.
It is easy for me to recommend all of his works, although, I do have my favorites. My top three in order of what I enjoy the most; “Only Myocardial Infarction Can Break Your Heart” “The Calm Before” “Howling Songs”. Matt Elliott is one of the artists I enjoy which I am somewhat confused does not have more recognition. In my relentless search for new music, it feels odd that I stumbled upon him later in his career. When lyrically and musically he seems perfectly suited to my tastes. With the instrumentation also seeming rather accessible it is unfortunate it took me so long to find his work. It still serves as a nice reminder that I can find such engaging talent anew as I grow older.
I only needed a soul
To share to kiss and to hold
But only found this dark hole
Someone unbearably cold
And though I tried to reach through
tried to see what makes you you
You closed all windows and doors
Saw me for only my flaws
They say that time heals all wounds
I can’t say from what I’ve
seen that its true
Regrets and pain follow you
Until there’s no one to help
and nothing you can do
And if my dreams would come true
I’d be there looking at you
And as you start to undo
I’ll hold a mirror to you
My only solace is this
You’ll never feel such a kiss
You’ll never know what you missed
You’ll never experience true bliss