London songwriter Mark Mathews has quite the habit of releasing singles. From his #newmusiceverymonth project in 2017 he put out something new each month, which is most admirable, and a testament to all the hard work and praise he as assimilated over the last few years. Here’s hoping that his latest Sydney single can warrant the same sort of praise:
A gentle acoustic guitar chordal riff opens with the ambient moans of what sounds like whales, or some funky synth parts. The exploration of guitar parts with different panning makes for some interesting listening, especially when interspersed with the tribal percussion and washy synthesizers to give an oceanic quality.
Mathews develops this further with a pseudo chorus, complete with harsh double tracking and close harmonies a plenty. The drums are soft enough to give the vocals their proper focus, while still driving the rhythm forward. The song acts like a musical stream of consciousness as opposed to your standard pop structure, and this can be disorientating. Mathews proceeds even further with his varying of the hook “my down under girl, she flipped my world” as a surf-like electric guitar provides fills in a manner that crescendos in catharsis before it drifts out like the tide.
Down Under Girl is a powerful love letter to Mathews’ Aussie Amore with a large immersive soundscape. Even if the song meandering structure, it makes for an chilled summertime listen, highlighted by the irony of it being summer in Australia in January. 7/10
You can listen to Down Under Girl here: