Minimalism has always been Matt Corby’s strength and for his highly anticipated sophomore album he has continued to strip things back and let it all come naturally. ‘Rainbow Valley’ is an experimental and soothing collection of 11 songs that orchestrally take you on a dreamy journey of emotions. You can tell that he’s all loved up and enjoying being a father because these songs have a strong embodiment of hope and love nurtured to it’s core. From the light hearted opening of ‘Light My Dart Up’ (Which for any non-Australian readers means, “Light My Cigarette Up”), he sets this dreamy landscape that sonically reminds me of Lana Del Rey. From there he dives into the psychedelic world of Willy Wonka with it’s cinematic and artistic approach of ‘No Ordinary Life’. This song comfortably sits somewhere in-between Tame Impala and Willy Wonka with it’s experimental structure. But he still manages to deliver his folk roots in amongst the smooth harmonies and layering. This song will leave you mesmerised and have you quickly pushing replay before listening to the rest of the record. With the signature cracking of vinyl, ‘All That I See’ introduces a soulful alternative-pop meets folk inspired approach that the rest of the album comfortably sits between. The dreamy production has this doo-woop feel to it which also sounds like it should be on a retro soundtrack. However it doesn’t structurally feel like it’s finished and lacks the hold the beginning of the album had on you. But album highlights ‘Get With The Times’ and ‘All Fired Up’ restore your hope with moody and beautiful ballads that embody this raw and intriguing soul. There is a true romantic and honest side to them which will have you reminiscing and reflecting on past and current relationships and people in your life. “I wanna know what gets you all fired up. Cause when you fall I fall, when you break I break. When you crawl I crawl, When you hurt I hurt”. From there the smooth production stylings of ‘Better’, ‘Miracle Love’ and ‘Elements’ will have you mesmerised while ‘New Day Coming’ incorporates some funky and slick jazz elements. But the cinematic and aesthetically pleasing album closer ‘Rainbow Valley’ fittingly closes the album with live bird and nature sounds with minimal production which is so soothing.
As a whole, this record is quite the departure for his debut record and is less cynical with his moody storytelling. Instead this record hears him finding hope, love and a new found rejuvenation. It’s not an upbeat record in any sense, but it has a nice reflective and soothing atmosphere that would be perfect to play on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
You can purchase a physical copy of Matt Corby’s new album from Sanity; https://www.sanity.com.au/products/2395652/Rainbow_Valley