Scott Matthew

There Is An Ocean That Divides...

Release Date: 04/24/2009 · Format: CD / LP · Catalog-No: GR 695

"There Is An Ocean That Divides And With My Longing I Can Charge It With A Voltage Thats So Violent To Cross It Could Mean Death" - If you have the second album from ex-pat Australian Scott Matthew in your hands, the first impression is the "Guiness Book of Records" like title.

In contrast to his simple self titled first album, the album title is characteristic of the new body of work. In the hope of not sounding pretentious, the title serves as a symbol to explain a more detailed approach, as well as convey age old themes of longing, love and loss.

Starting as a poem, Scott tried in vain to set these words to a melody. He invited his piano player and collaborator on the song "There is an ocean that divides" Marisol Limon Martinez to whisper the words along with native japanese speaker Chie Tanaka. What was created was one of the most impressive moments on the album. Consequently, "There is an ocean that divides" deserved to be in such a place of prominence.

It seems as though there is an organic development to each song, a natural growth which gives them ease. Stylistically, the album seems more diverse with a broader spectrum of influences without losing the strengths of the acclaimed first album. Brass and bold string arrangements, a choir and a few mid tempo songs are featured along with the expected intimate folk inspired moments.

With a few exceptions, the majority of the songs originated after the release of his debut album. For example, "Thistle" was taken from his back catalogue, given a makeover and recorded again. Scott Matthew left his homeland of Australia 12 years ago and moved to the metropolis of NYC. Maybe New York has influenced his song writing, but some songs were written with a physical restriction.

Scott's middle finger on his left hand was left unusable after an altercation on New York streets. This led him to turn to his alternate instrument, the ukulele, which proved to be easier to play. As a result, songs formed that traditionally would not be equated with ukulele. "White Horse", for instance was written on the ukulele before the talented Marisol Limon Martinez added her piano arrangement.

Mike Skinner (NOT of The Streets!) is again responsible for the production on the album. Spencer Cobrin's string and horn arrangements, Marisol's inspired piano arrangements and Eugene Lemcio`s bass parts he wrote are bold and beautiful realizations of Scott's music.

Holly Miranda (recently endorsed by Kanye West) lends her unique vocal talent on the track "Dog". People who experienced one of Scott's last European tours may remember her from the opening act, as well as performing a duet with Scott at the end of every show. New York independent music legend Kevin Devine also appears on the album playing guitar and singing backing vocals .

The follow up album is diverse and complex with seemingly cheerful songs like "Thistle" to the gentle tones in the title track "There is an ocean that divides". This album glitters with beauty and has the elements of a masterpiece.

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01. Every Travelled Road 5:13
02. For Dick 4:12
03. Ornament 4:13
04. White Horse 4:51
05. Dog 4:12
06. Community 3:53
07. There Is an Ocean That Divides 2:55
08. German 4:26
09. Thistle 3:14
10. Wolverine 2:59
11. Friends and Foes

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