The Portuguese genre of fado, in a nutshell, is a European version of the blues. Sad, melancholic, and rich with working-class culture of heartbreak and death that has become a folk tradition in the country’s music scene. Perhaps subconsciously, there are often ties to the dreary, tearful folk style in the local music scene even decades later from indie rock bands You Can’t Win, Charlie Brown, and even folktronica artists like Maro. And for newcomer David Matias, there’s a hint of his musical roots within his debut EP Still Life. Written and recorded from January to June, Matias used a worn out microphone to capture his sound, inspired by the new people in his life as the pandemic took hold of the world.
Warm guitars, sombre vocals and twinkling piano orchestrate a sense of longing and melancholy on the 4 track effort, as he sings about love from a distance on “Her Song”, or the pressure of existence on “Spectacle #5”. Considering he is from Portugal, his sound is rich with Americana folk influences, from Fleet Foxes, S. Carey, and Novo Amor (coincidentally a Portuguese moniker for a Welsh artist). His gentle voice and stripped back bedroom-folk recordings are a welcomed hidden gem from across the Atlantic.