Finnish singer songwriter The Mattoid today releases his new single, ‘Great Lovers’, the title track from his third album, which is set for release on June 24. Sounding like the lovechild of Nick Cave and Ingmar Bergman, the track is delightfully dirge-like, yet deeply compelling.
The Mattoid, aka Ville Kiviniemi, moved to Nashville with his unique blend of Velvet Underground style rock & roll, Scandinavian throat singing, and his guitar technique known simply as “sango.” The Mattoid has since left Nashville, and ‘Great Lovers’ is his third album, which saw him record in three different countries over a period of 5 years (previous release was 2008’s ‘The Glory Holy’, an incredible 14 years ago). He has been through a lot, including an horrific van wreck, which resulted in him breaking his neck; but you can’t keep a good man down.
Title track and new single, ‘Great Lovers’, is accompanied by an animated video that’s as dark and mysterious as the song, and presumably the artist himself. Made up of white line drawings (possibly scratch art?) on a black background, it illustrates the song almost word perfectly, telling the story of a couple separated by death, while adding supporting art, such as dogs howling at the moon.
Lyrics such as “feeling of numbness was paralysing my heart” serve as poetry just as much as song lyrics, The Mattoid seemingly drawing on Nordic storytelling traditions.
The Mattoid’s gravelly vocals (hence the Nick Cave comparison) are sombre and dark, enticing and captivating, set against a fast paced acoustic guitar and keyboard instrumental. It might take a few listens to get into it, ‘Great Lovers’ isn’t to everyone’s tastes, but it’s just quirky enough to be mine.