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Review: Whiskey And Orchids. An Album by Matt Owens


Matt is a British singer-songwriter and musician, who came to prominence as one of the founder members of indie-folk band Noah and the Whale, and for fronting Rock’n’Roll band Little Mammoths.

Matt's Debut solo album, 'Whiskey and Orchids,' was released last January. Recorded by Nigel Stonier (Joan Baez/ WAterboys), Matt's joined on the record by Michael Blair (Tom Waits/ Elvis costello), Thea Gilmore, Carleigh Aikins (Bahamas), Adrian Gautrey, Boss Caine and Robert Vincent.


Opening track 'Lay Down Honey' is an uptempo number about the stresses and strains of having to be apart. He has to work away to get a decent wage and she gets upset about it. Its a constant bone of contention between them.

'Little Tornado' a mid tempo song about a girl. The songwriters daughter? and how she is a force to be reckoned with. I love the harmonica in this song.

'The Piano at The Greyhound' features a piano of course and takes influences from Ireland in its musical arrangement. The song tells a life story in a way.

'American Girls In London' is quite literally a conversation and 'Christmas Eve' has a stripped back feel. This ballad brings to the fore the huskiness in Matt's voice while 'Match Day' is one of my favourite tracks as it builds into the chorus. Featuring piano keys and guitar its just one of those songs you want to put on repeat.

'Too Far Gone' has Robert Vincent helping out on backing vocals. Its a song about drug smuggling, and the fear of being caught by customs officials bringing illegal substances into the country because he knows, as soon as he gets caught, he will lose the love of his life.

'World Won't Wait' has the rockiest vocal of all the songs on this album while 'One Fuck of a Year' finds the songwriter waking up on christmas morning at his mothers house looking back on a bad year, full of health scares and coping with feelings of suicide and the realisation that, he has to do it all over again tomorrow. A very thought provoking song.

'Whiskey & Orchids' is the title track of this album. It describes feelings of loss after a break up. It is probably the most commercial song on the album but I really love it. It really gets your feet tapping along to it too. I love a rocky guitar solo.

'Last Play of the Day' has a piano intro that is soon to be joined by harmonica. The simple arrangement of this song works so well and it brings this wonderful album to its conclusion.

Americana at its best. It will be a great addition to your music library.

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