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Matt Epp Journeys Through the 'Shadowlands' (album premiere)

Photo: Jen Squires

Americana's Matt Epp commands attention with captivating musings on the parallels of love and light on new album Shadowlands.

"Shadowlands is about an internal place. About being guided into the shadows," says Matt Epp.

The Canadian singer-songwriter's latest full-length album muses on love, light, and the duality of each. This is to say that, on Shadowlands, Epp strives to develop a full-bodied work indicative of both life's highs and lows, and how they each come and go. It's folksy poetry that first sets this work afloat, but it's in the album's roots rock groove that it gains its footing as an ensnaring scorcher.

Epp has a knack for developing incendiary, guitar-centric hooks that would fit the anthemic nature of the main stages he's won a multitude of songwriting accolades over the past few years. Opening tune "Runaway" is a soaring Americana road song that feels complete with a lush production centered on a multitude of instruments that craft a wholesome core. Elsewhere, he plays with psychedelic melodies and an unsuspecting horn section to sell the ominous rise of "North Country", and highlights an ability to write John Mayer-esque ballads along the lines of "May I Have This Dance".

Epp is joined in-studio by drummer Jon Radford (Steelism), keyboardist Micah Hulscher (Margo Price), "Champagne" James Robertson (Lindi Ortega), and his long-time bassist, Joel Couture. Shadowlands was produced by Aaron Goldstein, mixed by Private Ear's John Paul Peters in Winnipeg, MB, and mastered by Gavin Lurssen in Los Angeles.

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