A sumptuous release, the second Matthew And The Atlas album is the kind of record that it’s impossible not to sink yourself into. Bringing together the naked emotion of Sufjan Stevens with the rolling melancholy of Communion labelmates Bear’s Den, it is a truly cathartic expression of its writer, Matthew Hegarty’s, own fears and feelings, bound together by a universality of emotion and honesty that makes it bracingly easy to connect to.
Musically speaking, Matthew & The Atlas’ 2014 debut album, ‘Other Rivers’, saw Hegarty pushing the boundaries of a classic folk sound into a bold, synth-laden territory, amassing a fervent cult following in the process. With ‘Temple’, he has made a tender return to his roots. “The first album went quite far one way – this time we’ve pulled back a few steps,” he states.
Hegarty is careful not to over-mystify the genesis of his dark muse. “I’m not superstitious at all, but I know that your mind does weird stuff,” he says. “Over the years I’ve used it as a tool to deal with all of that happening to me, and a way to think about it.”