Formerly of the Raleigh folk-pop band Magpie Feast, Matt Southern is a singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist who has a natural, unassuming way of tiptoeing between traditional and idiosyncratic.
Southern gives his folk tunes a bit of earthy, spacey funk as Matt Southern & Lost Gold, a trio with bassist Chris Bennett and drummer Steven Tietgen, which released its debut on Potluck Foundation last year.
In his solo music, Southern blends bright and dark tones into songs of ambiguous emotional weather. He’s releasing Ural Mt. Valley, a new solo EP, via Potluck on February 28, with a release show on March 14 at The Pour House’s upstairs record-shop.
Today, we’re premiering “Back into Me,” where pretty but apprehensive acoustic-guitar arpeggios, a pert but aloof bass line, and quietly urgent lyrics cast us back toward the early, understatedly weird days of Devendra Banhart. Hopeful and desolated, easy and eerie, the song is an overcast day in an overgrown garden where all the petals hide thorns. It reminds me of some favorite James Merrill lines: “Near by what silkiest blows a sharp thing grows / And this is good for lovers to remember.”