Matthew Liam Nicholson, from LA, has just released his latest single, Time Machine, and we’ve been taking a listen here at the Send Me Your Ears studio.
Time Machine is a truly ethereal and dreamy chillout track, reminiscent in places of early Pink Floyd. This is most definitely something that you’d put on to listen to at the end of a hard day, or after an evening of partying to wind down with a glass of something to help you sleep.
Time Machine starts with some unique swirling sounds and some superb picked guitar. A chorus of harmony vocals join in and the song takes on an almost religious feel; as though a group of people were singing at a service.
The distant vocals and acres of reverb on everything give Time Machine a really distant and smooth feel. Nothing detracts you from your quest to chill out and relax. It almost feels as though, from the reverb, that the song is being played at the other end of a large hall and you’re fortunate enough to be allowed to sit in on a concert just for you.
There’s some really stellar acoustic guitar playing on this track, with lots of layered playing and contrasting patterns. To us, the guitar playing is what carries this song.
There’s minimal drums, for the most part, in Time Machine and when they are present, they are suitably distant, like the rest of the track. We particularly liked the section where the ride felt like it was playing in 3/4 and the rest of the drums in 6/8. It made for a particularly fun section for us to listen to, especially as one of us is a drummer!
The thing that really stands out for us is that at almost 6 minutes long, Time Machine isn’t likely to be picked up for a great deal of commercial air play. However, it feels like a perfect fit for a TV sync deal. Time Machine is just the kind of music that you would find happening in a montage. It feels like the kind of music that you might hear in the background of a show like AMC’s Walking Dead. There’s something about the calmness of the song, together with the juxtaposition of violence in Walking Dead that the music supervisor uses quite often. Breaking Bad used similar juxtaposition and we feel that this kind of use for this music would be the best avenue for Time Machine to garner some significant recognition.
From a production perspective, there is very little information in the top 3 octaves of the track, leaving it feeling a little muted and dark. Perhaps this was intentional in order to focus in on the chill out feeling, but if not, we’d suggest a slowly increasing boost of the top 3 octaves to add in a little brightness and life to the track.
Matthew Liam Nicholson’sTime Machine is a timeless, slightly psychedelic, stream of consciousness that will appeal a great deal to lovers of dream pop and euphoric indie folk.