Matt Deighton stands alone as a multi-talented singer and songwriter of rare repute. Idiosyncratic and blessed with an ear for melody, he stands alongside the likes of John Martyn, Joni Mitchell and Nick Drake for his ability to craft songs of beauty and power. Illumined in the modern musical ﬁrmament, 2018 sees him stepping forward once again with a new 10-track solo album entitled Doubtless Dauntless. Recorded in Monnow Valley Studio in Monmouthshire in September 2016, the pastoral setting for Doubtless Dauntless proved perfect for an intensely artistic get-together of some of the most feted musicians of the past 40 years, the record’s personnel including piano maestro Steve Nieve (Elvis Costello), Linda Lewis, Gary Carpenter (associate musical director on The Wicker Man, 1973), Ben Trigg and Matt’s ex bandmates in The Family Silver, Steve White (The Style Council, Paul Weller) and Damon Minchella (Ocean Colour Scene, Richard Ashcroft).
The hymn-like No One's Lost Tribe is gilded by Gary Carpenter’s lyre playing, while May You Give It All Away and Each Time You Find Out stand out for their melancholic beauty. The sweet ﬂoating soul of Dreamstate (with Linda Lewis) and the slow build of Need Never Be lead to How Do We Show Our Love and the bravura Doubtless Dauntless, a 10-minute instrumental demonstrative of Matt's mastery of the guitar. He can write of modern malaise, thwarted desires and the need to live and love, each song tempered with a positivity and sense of humour that makes them glitter on the musical vine.
Doubtless Dauntless is a perfect pop synthesis of folk, rock and soul that, in equal measure, is both compelling and impossible to pigeon hole, Matt possessing the rare songwriting ability – or, some might say, the dying art – of being able to winnow existential truths from modern life, writing with an economy of lyrical gesture, his lyrics deft and weighted, ﬁguratively precise. Forever part of the British pantheon of popular music, the songs are diamond cut, his voice borne of decades spent playing at the highest level. Few are as good as Matt Deighton, but none so unique.