MATTHEW BARBER Means & Ends (Paper Bag) Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
With each successive Paper Bag label release I grow more impressed by the ability of rising local indies to define a cohesive ethos and sound. You can trace the arc of their stunning soft revolution back to Broken Social Scene's breakout You Forgot It In People through the Stars' stunning Heart and Matthew Barber's impressive new Means & Ends. Barber shows off mature songwriting chops and a lovely singing voice on this awesome debut, which merges thoughtful instrumentation and heartfelt lyrics in a stylistic grab bag that touches on fragile acoustic indie folk, slithery blues-rock and early autumn twang pop. His ability to match sonic and lyrical dynamics in three-dimensional phrasing is particularly notable. Definitely a dude on the rise.