Sydney folk-country singer-songwriter Matthew James Lyons evokes the yearnings we hold deep beneath the surface. His warm vocal tones and intricate guitar stylings are the perfect framework for his absorbing songs.
Embracing the singer-songwriter tradition of icons Paul Simon, Jackson Browne and Paul Kelly, his writing displays a distinct melodicism and wordplay. Further drawing on the canvas that alt-country offered through artists such as Wilco, Gillian Welch and Ryan Adams, he finds himself tangled somewhere within the strings that tie folk and country with melodic pop. In recent years, the broad umbrella of Americana has embraced his work.
Lyons’ debut album Relics showcases the work of an artist who has quietly refined his craft. In an era where music listening is fragmented by digital streaming, Lyons delves deep into the tradition of the album as an artwork, stringing his reflective narratives together through its running themes of loss, faltered hope, and wistful longing. Drawing upon the uncertainties experienced during 2020, each song captures a sense of helplessness and despondency with both sincerity and compassion, ranging from bare acoustic to full band pieces that echo a 1970s country-tinged sound. Recorded between his home studio and Church Street Studios in Sydney, it was mixed by Emmy Award winning producer Sean Carey.
Matthew James Lyons’ live performances confirm the intimacy of his songwriting. He delivers his songs with raw emotion and fragility, stirring audiences into a shared connectedness. And while just as suited to the accompaniment of a full band, it is his unique vocal delivery that transcends to the listener’s ear and heart. Think Elliott Smith meets Neil Young in acoustic mode.
Matthew James Lyons has shared the stage with the likes of Jon Auer (Posies/Big Star), Christine Anu, Youth Group & Matthew Barber (Canada). He was included on the Sydney Blues & Roots Festival list of artists in 2012. He was a semi-finalist in the Unsigned Only Songwriting Competition in 2018. ‘Take Me Out Tonight’ from his 2016 EP Everything That Was received airplay on Triple J.
Relics is released through all streaming platforms on February 19, 2021.