Album review, Matt Corby, Telluric: ‘Authentic, soulful R&B with sprinkles of jazz and funk’

matt corby

matt corby - Credit: Archant

It’s been a long ol’ trek for Corby getting this debut record out. Having dipped his toe in his native Aussie version of Pop Idol in 2007, he went on to record 22 tracks for an album for Atlantic that never saw the light of day.

Walking away from a multitude of producers and execs telling him what to sound like, Corby holed himself up in various home studios around the world, eventually settling in a cottage in Australia’s vast outback to almost single-handedly write, record and produce a second ‘debut’.

Meaning ‘of the earth’, most of Telluric has been drip-fed to us across a clutch of EPs, but these 11 tracks feel anything but disjointed.

He has hammered out a dynamic and intricate sound that stretches from intimate confessionals to slick, slo-mo R&B monsters sprinkled with elements of jazz, funk and gospel.

It’s held together by his beguiling voice that quivers like a dandelion in the breeze one minute and soars with soulful, quasi-sexual gusto the next.

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Combined with impressive musicianship and arrangements and super-slick production, Telluric sets out to bring the world under Corby’s spell.

Lyrically Telluric works through the frustration and anger of his false-start, rebuilding his confidence and battling his demons to find the light - as realised in the panpipes, jazz-laden beats and sunny disposition of Sooth Lady Wine.

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There’s more, with slinky, smoky and cool R&B (Knife Edge), widescreen piano-led balladry (Wrong Man) and Do You No Harm’s slo-mo sundown charm, which is as woozy as a mojito-sodden exec at a beach bar at 2am.

Arguably he’s best when he’s most exposed - Good To Be Alone is stripped right back to chiming, mellifluous electric guitar plucks and a vocal delivery from the heart.

All this is authentic, arresting, soulful and worth all of Corby’s heartache.

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