New York City denizen, singer-songwriter/guitarist Matt Schickele formerly of the band, “Beekeepers” shines forth as some sort of urban poet-laureate on his recent release titled, Cities Filled With Lights
. Brimming with wistful harmonies, a dissonant New York City downtown-like edge and insightful musings, Schickele and his musical associates create a web of poignant and at times, psychedelic soundscapes on this nicely assembled thirty-nine minute recording. With the opener “Above The Air,” the artist’s at times, strained inflections and prophetic vocalizations mesh well with a memorably melodic hook and late 60’s style twanging electric guitar chord voicings.
On “Maybe,” Schickele sings; “Maybe they’ll have fortunes, maybe they’ll have guns, Maybe they’ll make photographs or paint the sun”. Here, the artist waxes poetic via his sardonic wit and carefree demeanor in conjunction with Tony Lockwood’s persistent march pulse, whereas “Split The Clouds” is all about emotive choruses atop a simply stated and altogether engrossing melody. Overall, Schickele’s latest effort serves as a respite from the humdrum rock-pop that infiltrates today’s airwaves. Cities Filled With Lights is a strong effort, marked by Schickele’s cunning verse and clever arrangements. Recommended.
Personnel: Matt Schickele; vocals, guitar; Harrison Cannon; bass: Matt Sutton; clarinet, guitar and bass; Jan Kotik; drums; Matt Kaden; piano; Tony Lockwood; percussion; Sue Havens; accordion