While sitting in the crowded Associated Students of UC Irvine shuttles, walking to class through Aldrich Park, driving home for the weekend or just doing some homework that you need a little background music to, Matt Costa’s sophomore album, ‘Unfamiliar Faces’ offers a variety of songs to listen to.
From the whimsical and carefree to the deep, dark and introspective, Costa’s music is a veritable platter of emotion that appeals to the listener’s need for different genres of music for the different moods of the day.
Holed up in a room full of his treasured possessions, Costa allowed the memories to flood and unfold into songs capturing specific moments in his life; songs inspired by a long, difficult recovery from a skateboard accident, and his deepening suspicions of what other people really think lie dispersed throughout the album.
The lyrics are as deep and eccentric as the music itself. ‘Mr. Pitiful,’ the first single off ‘Unfamiliar Faces,’ is poppy and cheerful with a piano played throughout that is reminiscent of the peppy piano in The Beatles’ ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’; it’s catchy to the point of staying in your head for a while, but not in an annoying way. The other vivacious track of the album is a toe tapping, ‘Miss Magnolia,’ with a country-like harmonica, banging piano and scatting chorus.
Costa’s other songs are folksy and poetic with lyrics and music that make you want to look out of a car window and contemplate life. ‘Never Looking Back,’ a sad and reflective piece, is made all the more heart-wrenching with the bluesy harmonica interlude. ‘Vienna’ is romantic and wistful