An album purely for and from the heart
Just as the summer is coming to a close, Matt Costa has released his newest album Yellow Coat, the perfect earthy, stripped-down soundtrack for the fast-approaching fall season. Matt Costa, a singer-songwriter, got his big break after his homemade demos found their way to the ears of No Doubt’s guitar player, Tom Dumont, after which Costa was immediately invited to record his records in the Dumont private studio. With an extensive discography that includes 13 independently released works, seven self-produced EPs, and five full albums, Yellow Coat is this Huntington Beach, CA native’s sixth full-length album.
After his 2013 self-titled album release, listeners patiently waited five years for his next project, Santa Rosa Fangs. This new album, released under Dangerbird Records, brings back that signature earthy acoustic guitar and calming vocals from the first two albums, with some seamless surprise lo-fi additions. The sound and themes of heartbreak and healing on this record draw in similar tones to those of Death Cab for Cutie and Jack Johnson, which Costa has toured with in the past, as well as very dominant sixties vinyl tones.
Yellow Coat opens with the lead single, “Avenal,” which puts every tonal tendency of this record on display within the first 30 seconds. It draws in the listener with a beautifully picked acoustic guitar, surprises with a lo-fi drum beat and calls back the lovely California ’60s surfer radio sound. Costa’s lyrics generally focus on self-discovery and “try and feel the moon,” or bringing one back to what makes them human when healing from broken emotions. A highlight off the record is the second song, “Slow.” Produced by Death Cab for Cutie producer, Alex Newport, it carries an earthy and smooth AM radio ’60s doo-wop groove. Costa sings of heartbreak and wishing to not let go of passing love, and with the vocal performance in this track, that pain is truly felt.
Costa continues to focus on heartbreak with songs like “Let Love Heal,” that create a musical mantra for those whose hearts are on the mend. With a soulful acoustic tone and a drum line built like a slow heartbeat, this track is so pure and wholesome that any listener can relate and to do as the song states: let one self-heal.
“So I Say Goodbye to You” is the last track on this stunning record, and wraps of the emotionality of the rest of the work nicely. Costa sings of reaching the final stage of grief (acceptance), and letting go of that heartache. The song uplifts and shows that at the end of any pain is a brighter day and what is left are the good memories along with all that was learned.
Yellow Coat is a beautiful conjoining of many of the elements that have made Matt Costa a favorite in the indie genre. His voice, calming acoustics and simple drums make for a breathtaking combination through every song. This record is the perfect soundtrack for that long drive surrounded by the changing fall colored leaves. It’s one that helps ease the feeling of heartbreak with poetic lyrics and earthy musicality that grounds the listener in their moment. Matt Costa’s Yellow Coat is food for the heart and soul from the first guitar strum to the very last.