After creating and releasing music under the name The Third Eye Foundation for several years, Matt Elliot released this album under is birth name, the first of many in his ongoing career. Released in 2003 the record features 8 tracks riddled with ambient sounds and textures. These depressive neofolk songs have strong use of dynamics and its hard not to feel the raw emotion that went into creating the eerie pieces.
The beginning of the record a song titled ‘Let Us Break’ uses ghostly swells as a tool to convey the dark imagery it creates in the mind of the listener. As well as Matt’s simple vocal melodies, as many of the songs, there are some beautifully performed female vocal sections. With piano leading the song for the most part it is carried well by subtle horns and strings all swimming is lush reverb, giving the already full song a huge open sound.
One interesting section is the later half of the title track ‘The Mess We Made’. A slow piece, very much in the same vein as the rest of the record, is finished up with somewhat fast paced breakbeat that almost sits over the top of the soft, epic harmonies that were ruling the track prior.
Another interesting section for me is the use of chopped up and gated vocal sounds along with an unusual kick with what sounds like some soft clipping to create a boppy rhythm on ‘Also Ran’.
While not unheard of i think this technique is well executed on this.
As a whole I believe this record really captures the raw loathing and sadness of life’s trials and tribulations in an almost psychedelic and unique take on modern dark folk music. A true example of this is the track ‘The Dog Beneath The Skin’. Beginning in a very familiar place with a solo piano, and slowly being layered in. The vocals fade in and out with haunting echos and emotion. Different piano sections creating sound akin to a broken, sad child’s music box. Building up the track, it bursts into a whirlwind of electric guitar sounds, swirling about in this enormous space the song creates, almost like a storm.
This Album rounds down with a lovely acoustic guitar lead piece, warm production breaths a lot of life into the guitar, especially being able to hear the scratches and creaks of the playing. A brilliant album in most aspects in my opinion.