New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)

Matthew Fowler brings acoustic elegance to debut


“The Grief We Gave Our Mother” by Matthew Fowler (Signature Sounds)

The bright promise of singer-songwriter Matthew Fowler’s label debut lies in its acoustic elegance.

His new album, “The Grief We Gave

Our Mother,” combines clean, crisp guitar playing with Fowler’s warm, wistful tenor and tight background harmonies to deliver well-crafted songs that change speeds and create moods with the surefooted­ness of a more seasoned artist.

Likened to singer-songwriter­s Ray LaMontagne and Damien Rice, Fowler belongs in their company in more ways than one. The native Floridian’s singing is robust and honest, the songwritin­g introspect­ive. His themes revolve around personal growth and regret, and while the album occasional­ly veers toward ponderous selfabsorp­tion — another tendency he shares with LaMontagne and Rice — the singing and playing are usually polished enough to power Fowler through the cloying parts.

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