[8 February 2010]
For only having played together for a little over a year, Matt Gigg & the Intellectuals sure know a thing or two about making concise indie folk. Planted, the band’s debut, is a romantic and tethering listen full of charm and a relaxed sort of grace. Gigg himself is a witty and literate lyricist, reminiscent of a young Will Sheff. The 10 tracks on Planted employ a communal-like sound, one that would fit just as well around a campfire as well as your local coffee joint. Not only is it possible to sing along to tracks like “Paul’s Song”, a passionate tale of a nomadic rambler, but the rising crescendo that caps off this standout leaves ample room to get some good, introspective thinking done. While the production on Planted lacks, this is still an impressive debut that is as alarmingly visceral as it is cerebral.