Label: Brainlove Release Date: 08/03/2010 Website: Official Myspace I can picture young Mat Riviere alone in his gloomy bedroom up in Norwich making music with his own laptop and little drum machine as only instruments. This is the atmosphere conveyed by Follow Your Heart, a pleasant album of lo-fi dark pop that’s so hot right now. The songs follow each other smoothly, were the buzz of the vintage Casio SK 1is a constant, and work well as soundtrack for those moments when you’re alone at home - and are not planning to go out (warning: this is NOT pre-party music!) Mat wears his influences on the sleeves: in his music you can hear the dark wave of German 80s bands, like Einsturzende Neubauten and Malaria!, some gothic vibe and a bit of Fad Gadget, too (but calmer). ‘FYH’ opens the album with languid beats and an almost uncertain trembling voice that sets the mood of the whole album. ‘Pause’ is maybe the darkest track of the whole album, while ‘Castroreale’ is an interesting quasi folk track built on a noise-y background, half way between the first Animal Collective and Throbbling Gristle (maybe the comparison is a bit too celebratory) - it makes me think of a post-atomic pastoral landscape if the world was conquered by machines. One of the tracks I find most outstanding is ‘The Slugs And The Dust’, that presents some fascinating interplays between melody, loops and glitches that make it most serene (and maybe experimental?) in the whole album. Another track worth mentioning is ‘Lamplight’, a bittersweet ballad, whose piano passages will warm even the coldest heart. ‘Never Rest Again’ closes the album going back to the dark mood of the first track. With a voice that surprisingly reminds me of Interpol’s Paul Banks, Mat sings of doom landscapes, broken hearts and death, but still manages to keep a sparkle of hope and positivism, without falling into rhetoric cheesiness. Overall this album is a honest attempt to make some bedroom D-I-Y music, but to be honest, I don’t find this a milestone in music history, neither it stands out in the crowd of thousands of goth-pop bands that populate the shelves at Rough Trade but it’s still a good pleasant album, and I’m sure Mat will see the number of his fans grow exponentially thanks to Follow Your Heart. Photobucket

matt riviere - fyh from michael page on Vimeo.