I last reviewed an album from Windsor based musician Matt Stockl three years ago this month and wrote that he “writes songs about, in his words, “life, death and ITV” – in other words, satire in music isn’t dead yet.” Happily, for music fans everywhere, Matt has spent the time since gathering inspiration for his unique brand of satirical, comic music and he now has a new album out, Dog Shit Tree.
Dog Shit Tree is a wild ride through ten tracks of musical and lyrical cynicism and hilarity, a quite brilliant commentary on the last two years and counting. Given the shenanigans of the last few months, the need for satirical irreverence in our music has grown exponentially. The album leads with the title track and launches into a frenetic outpouring about the seeming epidemic of trees covered in small (full) dog poop bags (the album cover leaves you in doubt!) but this being Matt Stockl, it’s tempting to see this as a metaphor for life in the UK over the last few years.
The frenetic sound and nature of ‘Dog Shit Tree‘ continues into my favourite track of the ten, ‘Me and My Baby Going Panic Buying’, a savagely funny and irreverent look at the beginning of the UK lockdown: “when the viral apocalypse hits, we’ll be alright for oven chips’ (yes, loo roll does make an appearance). I dare you to listen to this and not laugh out loud.
‘Doom Scroll’ and ‘Content Provider’ delve into the often online mad world of social media and, whilst bang on the money and funny with it, Matt’s lyrics make you think about what you’re listening to – listeners who don’t recognise themselves somewhere along the line will be rarer than hen’s teeth. Meanwhile, the gentle tones of ‘Secretly Drinking Without You’ peels back the layers to reveal the unravelling of a relationship. It’s a toe tapper of a song that belies its innate sadness.
Dog Shit Tree is another great look at our society, wrapped up in melodious sounds and wiords.
Matt’s advice for aspiring musicians is:
“Be kind, be reasonable, leave your ego at the door. Write music that you can love and be proud of; your confidence as a performer comes from confidence in your material.”
Dog Shit Tree was released on 20 June. Get your copy here.
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