Review – “Terrace” – Mattie Leon

reviewed by Eleni Armenakisa3451993315_16

Despite persistent rumours that the temperature is supposed to skyrocket again this week, fall is looming pretty heavily at the moment. Cue Mattie Leon’s well-timed Terrace EP as the upcoming season’s complimentary gem. The lead singer of Toronto bands The Shakedown and The Sweet Mack is setting off on a solo career with an album recorded throughout last fall and winter—which might explain why it feels so perfect for this week’s chilly weather.

Unlike Leon’s previous poppy forays, Terrace opts for a more melancholic and uncertain note. The dangling fear that comes with title “Until Your Love Runs Out” is matched only by the fading, repeated closer “nothing’s for sure/but you can be sure, my love.” It’s a push and pull of limited confidence—summer’s optimism getting swept up by winter’s gloom.

Leon’s kept his hint of a falsetto, but paired with his newfound stripped approach there’s a smoother quality to it now. “Just You” taps early John Mayer—one of Leon’s influences—and takes a bit of romance from then too. Other times there’s a faint twang as Leon drops an octave and dishes out a country-esque indie pop ballad or sweet and slow closer “Precious Anymore.”

And while he’s already done quite a bit of exploring with his previous bands—charting all kinds of pop and punk—Terrace makes up one of his most versatile collections. The jazzy touches on “Alright Again” spark just when it seems like Leon’s establishing a new groove, adding another layer to his surprising turn towards a more melodic collection of instruments.

It’s the ideal rhythm to begin slowing things down for the year—with just enough punch to celebrate what slightly cooler temperatures mean compared to the past month’s swelter. The undaunted, realist optimism from Terrace’s opening track captures the Canadian approach to autumn perfectly, setting us up for a smooth transition into winter.

Top Track: “Until Your Love Runs Out”

Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)

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