Look out for: The River Has Many Voices

This is The River Has Many Voices according to his bio:

The River Has Many Voices(TRHMV) is  Matthew Payne, a singer/songwriter who lives and writes in Dripping Springs just outside of Austin, TX at his ranch house of 126 acres set in the Texas hill country. It is the land where he grew up and it is where he calls home.

Matthew Payne worked as a high school English and Creative Writing teacher for five years. Though incredibly proud of his time there, he decided to leave this work and pursue a life of writing and singing.

There’s a thousand on fire (not released):

It was then, living in a small ranch house, in a span of a month, that he wrote and recorded the tracks that appear on this debut album. Having written for years,
he has developed a musical catalogue much larger than any one album and this comes through with his live shows. He plays many clubs and coffeehouses around
Austin, and some festivals, including Old Pecan Street Festival this fall.


Barton Creek [EP]

Barton Creek is a collection of songs integrating harmony and acoustic melody from genres of Folk, Country, Pop, and Americana. The lyrics take the most
importance and involve various topics, including death, love, and living with both of those powerful forces.

As EPs go it’s a long one, it clocks in at 41 minutes. And it is 41 minutes well spent. The six songs are full of optimism, longing and loss.

It starts off with For Emily, a sweet love song with a hypnotic accoustic guitar riff over Matthew Payne’s husky voice. The Harmonies on the choruses are just beautiful. The Lyrics are bittersweet, as the love affair now seems over, but it’s still a  song that praises Emily in a very profound way. I love it.

The second track, There’s a passage in her heart, is a more toned down affair, a plea for love. An urgent, intense but quiet tune with strong lyrics. Another very strong song on this good album.

Yeah, I got away, but I never got clear, the third track, is for me a continuation of the story of Emily in the first song, it probably isn’t, but that’s my interpretation. Great instrumentation and sweet song about the consequences of an affair ending.

I’m comming back is more uptempo and a description of a series of events, a bit of a story song in a folksy tradition. Great melody and I can imagine it sung by Springsteen on one of his solo albums.

No death could ever take the life from you is an optimistic tale, a hymn to life and to women(?). The chorus is a Simon and Garfunkle like humming but the verses are in a more indiepop/-folk style. Good craftmanship, good songwriting.

The last song is also the masterpiece on this album, Pictures in a thousand words. The song is a tale spun in a very Dylanesque way. It clocks in at 16.25 and it never loses interest. It’s a very good song, demanding in the best way. If you take your time, concentrate and listen and it will open up like the best story-songs do. Great song, beautiful chorus.

Lovely album/EP, one of the best I’ve heard so far this year.

The River Has Many Voices also hads this single out:

Download (and name your price).

The single is a more uptempo indie rock affair, just as interesting but very different from the EP. His light but husky voice shines on this single.  It is a testament to the diversity of The River Has Many Voices and we really look forward seeing what Matthew Payne will do next. We would love to see him in concert and if someone would bring him to europe it would be great!

It will be the voice that grabs you at first, then the lyrics will haunt you (in a good way). I compare his music to a lot of different artists, this is not because I think he is unoriginal but because I belive the music stands to be compared to other artists great work.

The River Has Many Voices deserves to be heard. This is a great discovery, I believe his music will last.

– Hallgeir