River Matthews: Sunshine
River Matthews is an artist for whom the stars seem to have aligned since the days of playing cover songs in local pubs. A career as a musical therapy teacher - and no small amount of heartbreak - has led to working with world-renowned songwriter, Jamie Scott, and more recently supporting Rag‘n’Bone Man on his sold-out Human tour. Now, the Surrey-born songwriter is looking to step out with his 2017 EP, Sunshine.
River’s first forays into music came at the age of seven, learning classical guitar. Then, as with most young lads, he lost interest in his teenage years as he embarked on an informal education of The Beach Boys, Cat Stevens, The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones, from the school of mum and dad. After fanning the musical flames, River soon found himself performing '60s and '70s hits at local pubs and venues alongside some more crowd-friendly tracks from Oasis and Radiohead. Still, it was a long time before he ever put pen to paper.
The artist's next step was to put his musical ability to altruistic use, spending years working with children with learning difficulties, using music to help build confidence and self-esteem in the students:
“The energy and care all the staff put into the lives of the students is quite incredible. I can honestly say I owe a huge amount to that place, for so many different reasons," River tells Headliner.
It was this path that eventually led River to songwriter, Jamie Scott, and since then the pieces have all fallen into place. Now, looking towards his full album, Stars was just a tantalising piece of what’s to come.
Undo Ordinary is an unapologetically feel-good slice of summer, singer-songwriter pop. Hook-driven, high quality production provides the backdrop for River's distinctive vocal, which oozes soul and charm in equal measure.
And as for lead track, Sunshine, perhaps it's because it's a glorious day in London today, but we find it fantastically uplifting, and the lad's outrageous vocal performance is on another level altogether.
Can't recommend this one enough, readers. Sunshine is out now.
Check out the EP on Spotify >> HERE <<