He’s one of the great underground singer/songwriters of the ’90s, his insightful, lyrically inventive songs and melodic tunecraft consistently praised by critics and fans alike. And now he’s back.
Matt Keating, critically acclaimed songwriter, returns with his latest work, Tiltawhirl, on Future Farmer Records. A combination of band-oriented pop and acoustic solo performances, Tiltawhirl was previously released in Europe on Alan McGee’s Poptones label. It makes its domestic debut August twenty-seventh..
Tiltawhirl has already earned its share of praise. In the July 1st issue of The London Times, critic Stewart Lee maintains, “(Keating writes) the kind of effortlessly eloquent pop song Elvis Costello doesn’t write anymore.” And the haunting murder ballad “Jacksonville,” suggests The Independent, is “The equivalent of Leonard Cohen’s Famous Blue Raincoat.”
From start to finish, Keating combines melodic hooks with engaging lyrics and inventive, energetic arrangements. Lyrically, the tracks are uniformly inventive as well, dealing with topics as diverse as the Texas execution of Karla Faye Tucker (“It’s a Shame”) to adult reflections of teenage heartbreak (“Window Booth”).
Tiltawhirl is Keating’s fourth full-length release. Keating wrote most of the tunes for his now classic solo debut, Tell It To Yourself, as a street performer touring Europe and America in the early 90’s. Released in 1993 on Alias Records, it was a radical departure from the grunge mainstream of the moment. RAYGUN magazine, in its May 1993 issue, called Keating “the paragon of straightforwardness and economy with pop harmonies and Beatlesque songwriting.” The New York Times’ Jon Pareles offered, “His tunes are clear-cut, and his confessions and uncertainty ring true.”
After touring nationally, Keating released Scary Area in 1994. With its Americana-inspired instrumentation and poetic sensibilities, Scary Area invited comparisons in the London Sunday Telegraph to Neil Young, Bob Dylan, and Elvis Costello. Keating released Killjoy, his most successful and last record with Alias, in 1997. Stereo Review critic Parke Puterbaugh advised listeners to “file it in the vicinity of Big Star’s Sister Lovers, John Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band, and Neil Young’s Tonight’s the Night.?
With Tiltawhirl, Keating delivers an emotionally bare and moving musical portrait of the lovelorn. Tiltawhirl is not just a collection of songs, but a complete work, with each song bringing the listener deeper into the soul of one of America’s best kept secrets.