Sieben : As They Should Sound - CD
This is the latest Sieben album, due for release March 30th 2009. This is not a best-of. Though some are the best of what's gone before. This is as they should sound. Songs honed live by hundreds on concerts. Washed, dirtied, recorded fresh. Calibrated, loosened. Double-distilled. Tightened, trimmed and unleashed. No fat, no flab. Violin and voice. As they should sound. " And that's about right. This album release symbolises an end for me, a summing-up of my best work so far. The best it has even been captured in the studio for sure. And a departure: I'm after a new sound with the next album, and a new feel. Though it will still be trade-mark loop and violin layers. I just wanted a final go at the songs that I've honed and developed over the years- that the audience at live shows have also had an effect on the song's character. Each time I play live, I feel what works, what drags, what thrills, and what does not. And the smart artist takes this information home, and shapes their tools accordingly. This is the case with these songs" (Matt Howden / Sieben) Matt's main instrument is violin and he is entirely self-taught. The story goes that, at 18, he was given a friend's grandfather's violin and then alienated friends and family over a two year period, finally unleashing himself upon an unsuspecting public in the streets of Newark , Lincoln and Grantham. He moved to Sheffield in 1986 and was part of the vibrant music scene in Sheffield playing in The Glass Hammers, Pig64, Yonni, and Stiki.Sieben exists because of the I-Ching. Matt was given a reading by a friend which told him to make music he wanted to, not the music he thought people would like. This lead to Matt to release himself into a fully solo career, which indulged and channelled his fantasy and passion into violin and voice.The premise and spirit of Sieben is layers layers of instrument and voice that hypnotically draws you into a world of emotion. Lyrically, the themes shift and change from album to album, but are linked by the same sense of dissonance the smooth, superficially melodious voice belies the dark, quick, twisted stories. Intelligent, quirky use of metaphor and archaic language is set against a backdrop of texture rich music.The central place of the violin and Howden's unusual way of playing it give's Sieben a distinct sound which makes comparison difficult. Whilst, Seiben is frequently classified as neofolk, goth & experimental the music, and the man, could be as well described as alternative, indie, beautiful, brilliant, melancholy freak folk ....the list goes on. Definitively Sieben, and Matt Howden, are best described as unique and must see live."