A card-carrying member of the California surfer-rock club, where Jack Johnson is president and G. Love secretary, Matt Costa manages to snap out of the haze that’s overtaken his contemporaries.
As opposed to Johnson’s contented acoustic strolls, Costa is willing to let down his guard and test unfamiliar ground, as he does on Vienna, a moody and sparse bossa-nova-like song that features just Costa, his electric guitar and a drum machine. It shows his potential, despite Unfamiliar’s continual pull toward tread-worn British pop. Costa goes too far in this direction when he starts singing in cockney on Cigarette Eyes.
Still, despite his naive imitations, Costa has a gift for catchy hooks, and once he figures out who he is musically, the results could be remarkable.
Matt Costa cruises into the Phoenix Wednesday (February 27).