Out on Metal Postcard records November 3rd
· “Melancholy beauty” Shindig!
· “Edwards’ love-broken lyrics suggest a lost Graham Greene novel about seedy Brits shipwrecked in Caesars Palace rather than Port-au-Prince. Immaculate.” Word
UK Live Dates:
22nd Nov – Birmingham – The Sun At The Station
27th Nov – London – Servant Jazz Quarters – Launch Party
On 3rd November Metal Postcard records present ‘The Fates’ by Matthew Edwards and the Unfortunates.
A low key classic in the making, ‘The Fates’ is immediately recognizable as pure class, but is also a grower that increasingly charms the cockles with each repeat listen.
The louche and urbane Matthew Edwards is definitely a one off, although fans of Beirut, The Auteurs, Bill Callahan and Brett Anderson should find much to love.
Across this gem of a record, folky and Gallic touches meet strings, brass, pedal steel and incendiary electric guitar. In fact, these masterful songs are adorned with all manner of sonic flourishes that are varied enough to ensure plenty of colour, but sparingly applied enough to avoid garishness.
‘The Fates’ doesn’t indicate someone striving for a sound, but the achievement of exactly what was aimed for. This can be attributed in part to a top-rank supporting cast;The Unfortunates are joined on electric guitar by Fred Frith (Henry Cow, Eno, Robert Wyatt) and production by Eric Drew Feldman (Captain. Beefheart, P.J. Harvey, Pixies). Eric also plays the pump organ, mellotron, and frequently performs live with the group.
Matthew (solo or with the Unfortunates) has opened for Joanna Newsom, St Etienne, Joe Henry, Michael Chapman, Camera Obscura, Devendra Banhart and Robert Forster. His songs have been featured as a Rolling Stone download, premiered on Philipino music TV, in Yvonne Prinz’ novel/CD ‘The Vinyl Princess’, and within comedienne Margaret Cho’s movie ‘Silverlake Dream’.
Matthew was born in a council house in Birmingham, England. Being a bright lad, he managed to go to University to study English Literature. On leaving, he secured employment as a park keeper. This job gave him enough free time to motor around middle and south England on his decrepit motorcycle playing wherever and whenever he could. Sensing his contemporaries’ affiliations tending towards the criminal, he decamped to California, where he worked as a compere at San Francisco’s premier ‘variety’ evening at The Mad Dog.
In 2003, Matthew formed The Music Lovers for whom he was the singer and songwriter. The band have released three albums plus an EP, and were signed to Le Grand Magistery of Detroit – labelled “the best boutique label in America’” by Spin and run by the eccentric Mr. Jacobson – a close associate of Jack White.
All the records were blessed by great critical responses and sold out their (albeit modest) runs. After the release of the last album ‘Masculine/Feminine’, Matthew dissolved the group and went to spend time in the Mojave and Mexico. On his return to San Francisco, he formed the first incarnation of Matthew Edwards and the Unfortunates (named after the B.S. Johnson novel). They are currently are a 6-piece group based in San Francisco, USA and Birmingham, UK.
Matthew enlisted Sasha Bell (formerly of Essex Green and Ladybug Transistor) on piano and organ, award-winning cellist/vocalist Adaiha McAdam-Somer, drummer Kristina Vukic, bassist Jefferson Marshall (of Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound) and on accordion, is Matthew’s former compadre from The Music Lovers, Isaac Bonnell.
In early 2013 Last Tape Recordings of San Francisco released the groups debut – a 300 copy limited edition vinyl only edition of ‘The Fates’ that featured a hand- lithographed sleeve by designer/artist Rex Ray (David Bowie).
This was followed by the group’s 45 ‘Minotaur/Bad Blood’, which was released on Metal Postcard Records of Hong Kong, who are also pleased to release this gorgeous album, available for the first time on CD and download.