by Lisa Waugh
Matthew Santos: Into The Further
Two time Grammy nominee Matthew Santos is just at the surface and ready to break. That’s certainly the feeling I get when listening to his latest record Into The Further. Santos has tapped into that universal appeal of a singer/songwriter that spans from orchestral brilliance to modern crooner. He’s all of those things you want in an artist, prolific, interesting, and unique.
His work has been called a “folk rock masterpiece” but I think that oversells something that is purely relatable. Do we really need hyperbole when something is just plain old good? Probably.
We live in this marketing age where everything is the best but what I feel about Matthew Santos is that he’s done all the right things to deserve to be here. He’s put the work in. He’s drawn the right people and surrounds himself with success and talent. It’s up to him to maintain that.
What’s clear about Santos and Into The Further is that he’s not all that impressed with the star title either. This is what’s good for his music. After the Grammy nomination for his song “Superstar,” Santos returned to his Midwest studio and made more of the good stuff. This is the trick. Once you move the studio to a high-traffic place to “hang” you’re done.
Santos makes the rounds on all of the popular shows – Letterman, Ellen, TRL, Kimmel – and hits up the big festivals – Coachella, Bonaroo, Glastonbury, Lollapalooza – but his smartest move is staying independent. He’s made six albums as an independent artist. Into The Further is his seventh.
His methods should be a solid study for any artist wishing to remain his or her own master while commanding the attention of the industry at large. Keeping his own counsel, taking the industry at face value and he collaborates with other artists. This is something that keeps the creative juices flowing.
Santos is working fellow Chicago artists Hey Champ and Gemini Club to make up the dark RnB / 80’s electro-synth-pop / rock group called MONAKR. Their debut EP drops this summer.
Looking at Into The Further, track wise, you’ll find a bit of everything from soul, funk, folk and rock with an ode to classical jams here and there complete with an ethereal twist. The record ebbs and flows in a really lovely and interesting way. Hypnotic and worth your time.
Matthew Santos (vocals, guitar)
Jon Deitemyer (drums)
Emma Dayhuff (Bass)
Aviva Jaye and Sara Lim (additional vocals)
Chihsuan Yang and Maria Storm (violins)
Oana Tatu (viola)
Katinka Kleijn (cello)
James Davis (trumpet)
Steve Duncan (trombone)
String arrangements by Matt Ulery
Into the Further Production:
Produced and mixed by Matthew Santos, Mix engineer: Greg Magers.
Mastered by Rollin Weary at IV LAB Studios
Into the Further Tracklisting:
Into the Further
Under the Microscope
It All Works Out
Succumb to Gravity
End of the Pipeline (Have a Nice Day!)
Field and Flower
Just to See You (Take 2)
Who Am I to You
And Now the Leap