Stated simply, Matt Costa’s never sounded better. Yet even so, it’s somewhat telling that his new album — his fourth to date — is self-titled, as if to say he’s willing to rehang his shingle if that’s what it takes to attract attention. Costa’s burnished vocals suggest a sense of reverence — whether he’s channelling Nick Drake on songs like “Eyes For You” and “Golden Cathedrals,” a Lennon-like ferocity on the “Instant Karma” — soundalike “Good Times,” or simply emulating the outward exuberance that once accompanied a Fleetwood Mac anthem of old.
The melodies quickly creep under the skin, and even at the outset, the songs come across as both fresh and familiar. Costa easily navigates a variety of settings, from the percolating pulse of “Shotgun,” to the frenetic folk of “Silver Sea,” to the low-lit feel of “Clipped Gaze,” but in the process, he brings a special appeal to each. The emphasis is on accessibility, and by adding horns and strings to bolster his effusive arrangements, he affirms his pop profundity. This time it’s clear — Matt Costa is a name to be reckoned with.
DOWNLOAD: “Good Time,” “”Eyes For You,” “ Golden Cathedrals” LEE ZIMMERMAN