It’s not every day that a 19-year-old singer/songwriter can make the impact that Matt Carstens is busy making in the South African music industry. An industry that is full of young and upcoming talent which makes it difficult to make said mark. But Matt, he has something to him.
After seeing him live in Hermanus in December of 2016 he has captured my attention. Now after listening to his beautifully mastered debut album, 2D Heart, I’m finding myself listening to it almost 3 times a day. I’m not saying this because I think he is cool, I know he is cool. I’m saying this because I’m really enjoying the songs, lyrics and melodies. “Arsonist” reminds almost of a Stefan Dixon vibe and it’s a catchy tune. “Loves Like Fire” is just a taste of this youngster’s guitar skills. It can make a great radio single. Another song that stood out was “Sinners & Stars”. I listened to a lot of Collective Soul, Live, Lenny Kravtiz and so forth growing up, and I can appreciate the rock element of this song. I love it.
I just always wonder where a young guy like Matt gets his inspiration from being the age that he is. He is singing of love and life like he has lived so through so much. You can hear inspirations on the album comes from a modern day folk-rock too. But Matt makes his own sound and that is what we need. Someone who doesn’t copy and paste, who is unique. It’s been the game for years. Matt is different, he is clean cut and his music can be played at weddings, road trips, festivals and basically anywhere.
It took a full year of writing and recording for Matt to finish this album. “I really decided to take my time with this album because I only get one chance to make a first impression on my audience. This album needed to be true to who I am and I could not be more proud of the outcome!”
When I listen to new music I want it to take me on a journey. I want to go to that spot the musician is describing. I want to see if I can add it to my life’s playlist. Matt’s debut album is just that. So for our very first album review on Small Town Music, we are giving it a 5 out of 5 Rock Salutes.
Check out his music video “Our Revolution” below: