Boomkat Product Review:
Intended as the second part of a trilogy (the first part being 'Drinking Songs') 'Failing Songs' continues Matt Elliott's quest to show the world just how depressing life can be. Well someone's got to do it I suppose, and this collection of rearward-facing misery is quite hauntingly addictive. I think that's the thing with being miserable, it always lends itself to better music than being happy, I mean you'd rather listen to The Smiths than S-Club Seven wouldn't you? It just stands to reason that other people's pain results in damn good music, and on 'Failing Songs' Elliott again looks to Eastern Europe to pillage the best in working class folk music and re-wire it for an apathetic modern world. I can hear references to Hungarian folk, Greek Rebetika, traditional French music all filtered through a large bottle of home-made Schnapps (probably flavoured with plum-stones) and sweetened with the taste of cheap rolling tobacco. It's not all doom and gloom however, there's a strange, addictive beauty in Elliott's songs, and like his previous project Third Eye Foundtation, the more you listen, the more those melted, romantic hooks embed themselves in your mind. Through his gorgeous voice (which sounds better than ever) and the widescreen Eastern European instrumentation you end up being transported onto some rain-drenched back-alley in some nameless village or other as wizened washer-women look on nonchalantly. This is, rather appropriately, the perfect music of failure, and Elliott never fails in making you revel in his supreme and overwhelming misery - quite some feat I think. Like the excellent 'Drinking Songs' before it, sometimes it's nice to listen to someone who's actually more depressed than you, it gives you a glimmer of hope, and if misery sounds this beautiful, who's complaining? I can't think of many better records to sink a bottle of cheap whiskey to - absolutely lovely stuff, just make sure you hide the sharp objects before playing. Huge recommendation.