Take a pick at which Matt Coughlin you prefer: there’s the funked-up, radio-friendly, full-on indie rock sound of Let It Go, an EP he released early last year, or there’s the acoustic, stripped down, campfire EP, It’s About Time, he released a short time later. They couldn’t be more different.
Perhaps the difference signifies the Belgrade native is talented enough to lend his buttery vocals to any genre. At the heart of both five-song efforts is Coughlin’s effortlessly deft voice, the sort that surely makes teenage girls swoon and meatheads feel sentimental. It sounds better rising above the upright bass, skins and guitar arrangements of Let It Go, but is featured more in—and becomes the most redeeming factor of—It’s About Time.
Storyhill’s Chris Cunningham produced the latter, and his emphasis on the layered harmonies is overbearing, resulting in a markedly more uninspiring EP. Whereas the first showed the promise of an emerging frontman, It’s About Time emits a sort of touchy-feely, folk-wuss quality best suited for an open mic night. The lyrics are telling: he in one song starts sneering, “You’re a superficial little punk…,” and on another croons, “Pacify my longings and lead me to the brighter air.” It’s not hard to figure which line belongs to which EP. (Skylar Browning)
Matt Coughlin plays Sean Kelly’s Thursday, April 5. 9:30 PM. Cover TBA. Call 542-1471.