Adventure (Keeled Scales)
Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., Dec. 13, 2019
Newly settled into Austin from Virginia, Twain's Mat Davidson offers up his second release for local imprint Keeled Scales. Adventure unfolds progressively more mellow than 2017's notable Rare Feeling, signaled by the unfolding piano of opener "Inner Beauty." Twain travels in his own time, winding through smart and earnest explorations both universally grand and intimately personal. His swirling, fluctuating vocal and high keen on "Working" and "Searching" calls toward the lo-fi indie folk of Tom Brosseau and Phil Elverum, while the genderfluid "Royal Road" swings lower in the singer's off-kilter croon. The sparseness overwhelms at times, but the gorgeous strum and trill of "In the High of the Morning" and dark, haunting float of "Lost Atlantic Dreams" flash the provocative beauty of Twain's songwriting.