When Matt Costa started working on the songs for his sixth record, Yellow Coat, he’d been on tour for the better part of two years and had just ended a relationship of almost a decade. The music needed to exist, and it was as much an emotional exercise as a creative one. “I think every other record that I've written, I wrote knowing that the songs would have an outlet,” Costa says “And for this one, I really didn’t. It was just a process I was going through, clearing myself of these feelings and thoughts.” The songs were like Costa’s letters to himself, with the honesty and intimacy of something that was not meant to be heard. “ I feel really close to them for that reason,” he says. “Some of my favorite writing is like that -Vincent Van Gogh’s Dear Theo, or Steinbeck’s A Life in Letters. Those are really revealing, because it’s not intended as part of their body of work.There’s something really special about that. But at the same time, I write songs and perform for a living. So it's hard to think these songs will never see the light of day.”
And now, of course, they have. Yellow Coat is a masterpiece of heartbreak from a preternatural tunesmith, its raw emotion channeled into gently swinging, hooky love songs, most of them awash in strings and mellotron and harmonies and groove. From the insinuating acoustic riffs and lo-fi beats of “Avenal” and the snappy fatalism of “Slow” to the almost church-like fragility of “Last Love Song,” Yellow Coat is equal parts lost 60's AM radio hits, folk-pop beauty and dark night of the soul music.
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