Album review: Syd Matters - Brotherocean

The work put into this solid, carefully-orchestrated British debut, out on Because Music, shines through - but is it too clever for its own good?

Syd Matters is not one bloke but a Parisian five-piece, coming over to these shores to build on their success in France, where they’ve already bagged an award.

Their harmonically rich, subtly textured music is like an embroidered take on folk and traditional songwriting.

There is an organic feeling to frontman Jonathan Morali’s music and melodies, which arch out like a bird’s wing with piano or acoustic guitar holding the ear while vocals, harmonies, and backing instruments are intricately threaded throughout.

Upcoming single River Sister, out next month, evinces the album’s themes of family and the sea, with diving bells, harbours, underwater adventures and tall tales emerging from the bobbing, layered music.

The atmospherics are accomplished, but Brotherocean isn’t quite evocative enough to reach from the depths and drag you in.

3 stars