Matt Lajoie


So begins another year here at Raven and just as the early parts of 2020 were graced with the transformative meditations of Matt Lajoie, so too is 2021 lit awake with another solo venture. Where the last record was doused in an aqueous glow, Paraclete Tongue takes shape from the glow of embers and the pulse of stars. The album is Matt’s first solo LP to employ electrics throughout and while he’s still a master of delicate sighs even when the the current courses through the strings, there’s a new element to Paraclete Tongue that’s been hidden away from his past solo strikes. Aside the ripples and picks, there’s a gnawing growl of fuzz that crops up, especially on the album closer “Flame of Incarnation” — a sidelong stunner that loops Lajoie’s works through the halo of a distant sun.

Before we get there, though, the first side takes up a trio of pieces that prepare the listener for the voyage. “Kuchina’s Dance” and “Kandlebright Grotto” pirouette through candlelight, an extension of the rivulets of string work that populated Everlasting Spring, while a scarred sunrise opens the record with some of the most froth found in the solo Lajoie spectrum. The second side then opens into a cosmic echo of sound, bouncing Matt’s strings back and forth in the listener’s headspace — a dance of starlight sonar that’s entrancing as it pushes past the 24-minute mark.

Not to be capped at merely one LP’s worth of dazzling guitar glow, Paraclete Tongue boasts a companion piece also released this past week with 40 more minutes of sun-fired fretwork to bolster the album. Sun Language was recorded in one take focusing on Matt’s Fender Mustang as the tool of choice. The four pieces capture the same hazed glow of sunlight breaking through the dawn, acting as a pared-back comedown to ease on out of the shimmer of Paraclete’s shadow. Flower Room proves a beacon in any year, but they’re starting ’21 off strong.

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