“ With the ability to engage and experience, [Matt's] songs stand out. They are not about him reflecting on himself. They are about a body experiencing the earth. That wanderlust has also made him into an accomplished performer.”
"Canada's best kept secret singer-songwriter" Matt Epp released a new acclaimed album 'Shadowlands' (2018). As last year's Grand Prize Winner of the prestigious International Songwriting Competition (ISC), Epp shares the honour with past ISC winners such as Vance Joy, Gotye, Andrew Bird and Passenger.
Epp has won the admiration and hearts of an audience that spans the globe. He sings with a tenderness that belies an honesty seldom seen, and a weighty pitch that travels right to the core. His existence has been in constant flux since he was a teenager, having lived everywhere from the desolate Canadian prairies to bustling big cities, hitchhiking all over Canada and traveling the world in between. This wealth of experience has turned him into one of the country's best live acts; he is a stark and confessional songwriter and a rare performer with the ability to take you into his world and make you feel like, in an instant, a true friend. Endowed with an infinite capacity to engage an audience with soul-inspiring, beautifully honest songs and a genial disposition, Epp is one of the gifted forerunners defining the future landscape of Canadian music.
On his new album 'Shadowlands', Epp traverses spiritual and physical worlds deftly, conjuring the twilight wilderness of his home with hazy, transcendental psychedelia (“North Country”), while chasing muses on his road-worn Honda Shadow amidst incendiary roots rock (“Runaway”), floating through ghostly, glowing folk alongside mystical guides (“Uncharted Waters”), and raging against social and environmental injustice on the acerbic battle cry “Unnatural," recalling Neil Young’s pointed activist anthems. Shadowlands isn’t the end of a journey, but instead Epp’s first steps crossing the threshold, into a place from which he has no intention of turning back. Its piano-led curtain-closer, “In a Flash,” is a promise to continue fearlessly navigating the gathering tempests and crises of faith that define its world. Epp's award-winning songwriting is transformed, arriving with more powerful force than it ever has before, and blazing a new path for its author.
Epp recorded Shadowlands in the hills of Nashville, Tennessee at Dark Horse Recording with Toronto pedal steel magician Aaron Goldstein at the producer’s helm. With a stellar team of musicians - including Jon Radford (drums in Steelism), Micah Hulscher (keys for Margo Price), ‘Champagne’ James Robertson (guitars for Lindi Ortega), Joel Couture (Matt’s long-time bassist), and the lovely background sounds of The O'Pears, Sweet Alibi and BrandyZdan – they have tied the sonic landscape and narrative of Shadowlands beautifully together.