Yellow Coat

Over two years since his last album release, Matt Costa dropped his seventh studio album, “Yellow Coat,” on Sept. 11, intertwining folksy guitar, slow piano, and heart-warming lyrics to create the ultimate soundtrack for hopeless romantics around the world.

Indie-rock artist Costa, set foot into the world of country music on “Yellow Coat,” implementing more twangy guitar and booming drums than ever before. I found this album to be a perfect blend of folk, country and pop.

The album’s first track, “Avenal,” opens with an impressive finger-picked guitar solo, setting the acoustic tone for the rest of the album. Whimsical sounding, the track sees Costa reminiscing on his past with the lyrics “In the dusk of memories / There’s a road I wanna take you down.”

Dreamy and drawn out, “Slow” introduces the ballad-like, ‘60s-rock feel of the album. Pairing loud guitar with harmonious vocals, this track instantly brought to mind the soundtrack of the 1978 classic “Grease.”

The album’s third track, “Make That Change,” sounds the most Western of the album’s tracks, combining smooth guitar with country chords, all while discussing growth throughout life. I loved the lyrics “There’s nothing like yesterday / To take you away from your tomorrow.”

“Let Love Heal,” the album’s fourth track, feels like reading a love letter to someone going through a heartbreak. Using stripped-down vocals and minimal acoustic guitar, Costa encourages listeners to let love heal them, even when love hurt them in the first place.

The album’s fifth track, “Last Love Song,” reminded me of the 1970 Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young hit, “Our House,” sounding minimal in production yet rich in meaning. The lyrics “Didn’t know what to expect that night / But it was someone I could / Hold through my whole life,” remind the listener that love often comes when one is least expecting it.

Soulful and upbeat, “Savannah,” pairs Motown vocals with an upbeat rhythm to create a ‘60s sounding style. Blending with the retro production, the lyrics gush over love: “Savannah / I loved you like my own though I never / Never never could make you mine.”

One of my favorites, “Yellow Coat” opens with acoustic guitar and soft-spoken vocals with light cymbals in the background. This track’s mellow tone and slow rhythm had me swaying back and forth, promoting a feeling of calmness. The lyrics reflect this same aurora: “Now she’s standing there inside the rain / In her yellow coat.”

The album’s thirteenth track, “When The Avalanche Comes,” was my favorite song from the album, pairing warm vocals with harmonious acoustic guitar. Heartfelt in tone, the track reminded me of Jack Johnson’s style off of his 2005 album, “In Between Dreams.” The lyrics, “You might have tried to leave your past / Just remember it’s all part of the path,” made me rethink how I look at negative experiences in life.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the folksy rock elements of this album, and I’m now a new, enthusiastic fan of Matt Costa. Although I had no idea what to expect from this album, I was not let down, and would recommend it to anyone looking for an interesting take on love.

Raegan Holland is the lifestyles editor for The Arkansas Traveler, where she previously worked as a staff reporter.

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