Building off the success of his first full-length album Top Of The Tree, and 2016’s subsequent EP The Sea, Matthew Shepherd returns with an album bursting with delicate charm and spectacularly intimate songwriting. Waiting Up At Night is an emotional, minimalist ode to the highs and lows of love which is certain to inspire deep reflection in those who venture into the depths of the album.
Weaving intimate tales through deeply introspective lyricism, Matthew has crafted one of those rare albums that manages to keep you utterly entranced from beginning to the very end. The opening track ‘Shouldn’t Be This Hard‘ is probably one of the best examples of his distinct approach to acoustic singer-songwriter music and the innate uniquity that Matthew brings to the table – whether it’s his incredibly emotive vocal performances or the compelling compositional sparsity, there is something for those with even the most eclectic of tastes.
On tracks such as ‘Delicate Heart‘ and ‘Falling For You‘, beautifully layered acoustic guitar melodies are accentuated by little flourishes of electric guitar and sparse percussion which serve to lift the piece to new heights while staying true to the overall feel of the album. No matter how emotionally heavy the subject matter is on some tracks, Matthew still finds a way to create something profoundly beautiful out of something painful – this is common within Matthew’s work; his ability to find beauty in even the most arduous experiences in life and love.
Towards the latter half of the album comes ‘Friends Till The End‘, a sentimental ballad about an enduring bond with someone you used to be incredibly close with, and that despite not being physically present with them at the moment you will always have that special connection with no matter what. Essentially a song about a crushing feeling of longing, wrapped in an exquisitely soothing exterior.
Matthew’s ability to breathe new life into a genre explored by many before him is what makes Waiting Up At Night a truly special piece of work. His inherent acumen for songwriting allows him to craft spine-tingling pieces of music that come across as truly effortless and holding high artistic merit. No matter what genre you normally gravitate towards, if you’ve been in love, experienced loss, or more than likely experienced both, Matthew has created something that will resonate with you on a deep emotional level.
Waiting Up At Night is out now on Matthew Shepherd Music.