Matthew and the Arrogant Sea
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Matthew and the Arrogant Sea

Denton, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2001 | INDIE

Denton, Texas, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2001
Band Alternative Pop

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This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

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"SXSW Best New Bands"

You might recognize Matthew and the Arrogant Sea for a number of reasons: not only do they have an unusual name, but they've been featured on BestNewBands.com under several concert picks that I've made in the last few months. I lived in the same small music mecca of Denton, Texas as the sextet for several years, and yet the first time I actually saw them live or met them in person was last week at South by Southwest. How can one suggest a band that one has never personally seen? For starters, MATAS writes songs that will echo in the far recesses of your mind for an indeterminable amount of time. I stumbled across "Pretty Purple Top Hat" over a year ago, and it's still in heavy rotation on my iPod as I can't quite seem to stop whistling along with the verses in my head. They sound like the result of Michael Stipe doing freak folk, and I was just as charmed by their performance at Barbarella as I was by their insightful responses to my interview questions (see video below). In addition to their performance posted above, you can preview their songs "Jack Russell" and "Elvis" via Soundcloud below. - Bestnewbands.com


"SXSW Best New Bands"

You might recognize Matthew and the Arrogant Sea for a number of reasons: not only do they have an unusual name, but they've been featured on BestNewBands.com under several concert picks that I've made in the last few months. I lived in the same small music mecca of Denton, Texas as the sextet for several years, and yet the first time I actually saw them live or met them in person was last week at South by Southwest. How can one suggest a band that one has never personally seen? For starters, MATAS writes songs that will echo in the far recesses of your mind for an indeterminable amount of time. I stumbled across "Pretty Purple Top Hat" over a year ago, and it's still in heavy rotation on my iPod as I can't quite seem to stop whistling along with the verses in my head. They sound like the result of Michael Stipe doing freak folk, and I was just as charmed by their performance at Barbarella as I was by their insightful responses to my interview questions (see video below). In addition to their performance posted above, you can preview their songs "Jack Russell" and "Elvis" via Soundcloud below. - Bestnewbands.com


"SXSW Review"

http://schedule.sxsw.com/2011/events/event_MS11535 - SXSW


"You Can't Tame A Wild Rabbit Review"

To conclude Matthew and The Arrogant Sea’s debut record, Family Family Family Meets the Magic Christian, the Denton band wraps up the folk-rock record with a song possessing somewhat of an open-ended statement, titling their final track, “…And This Is Where the Story Ends.”. For a track title starting with ellipses, the series of dots often used in over processed academic writings, they serve much more of a purpose than to show the seasoned punctuation skills of Matthew and The Arrogant Sea (MATAS). Well-dressed students and wingtip wearing professors use ellipses for one reason, to shine a spotlight on the information they alone deem important. “…And This Is Where the Story Ends” is not an excerpt from a theological textbook explaining the symbolism behind hope, faith,and love. Instead, it’s a song of completion. A song wrapping up everything MATAS set out to achieve. For the symbolic period tells us so.



Fortunately, MATAS 2008 release, Family Family Family Meets The Christian, is not where the story ends. In fact, Matthew and The Arrogant Sea have released a new record, titled, You Can’t Tame a Wild Rabbit. You Can’t Tame a Wild Rabbit is undoubtably MATAS most eclectic, compelling, and quite frankly gorgeous record as of late. A considerable level of growth is obvious when shuffling between songs like, “Mock Origami”, found on Family Family Family Meets the Magic Christian, and “Hard Times”, a track from MATAS latest product. Both songs serve their purpose for their respected records. “Mock Origami” is a folksy, Fleet Foxes like tune, which compliments a very much folk-alternative record. The maturation and growth is evident when losing yourself in the guitar-centered rock song, “Hard Times”, from You Can’t Tame a Wild Rabbit. “Hard Times” is gritty, breaking away from any first impressions with enough guitar distortion to find yourself in a St.Vincent music video, and an outro epic enough to produce some serious euphoria. “Hard Times” is just one example of the diversity, and fearlessness You Can’t Tame a Wild Rabbit possesses in each and every one of it’s songs.



“Jack Russell”, the lead off track for You Can’t Tame a Wild Rabbit, picks up right where Family Family Family Meets the Magic Christian left off, emulating the folksy, airy bliss in songs such as, “Mock Origami”, “Solomon Burke’s Greatest Hits”, and “Mountain Kansas.” As “Jack Russell” approaches it’s completion, filling the listeners’ need for well-orchestrated folk tunes, it’s comes time to prepare oneself for a genuinely beautiful listening experience, as Matthew and The Arrogant Sea displays incredibly moving, and relatable songs.

Jack Russel:



“Vodka Jag” is one of those relatable songs, as Matthew gloomily utters, “When I’m approached by psychiatrists, I just tell them everything.” Are all troubled individuals scheduled for weekly check ups with monotone shrinks? No, quite frankly the idea of any form of psychiatric care is exceedingly intimidating. We all hope to be a unique, one in a million type of person. Unfortunately, psychiatrists presumably get us. They get us every single time. Nonetheless, the act of, “telling them everything” is freeing. Whether them, is a friend, family member or nosy co-worker, we want someone to listen. I think that’s what MATAS is expressing through “Vodka Jag”, simply a worrisome individual hoping to figure life out.

Vodka Jag:



“I don’t believe in heaven, so where did you go?”, is a verse from “Sally”, another track off You Can’t Tame a Wild Rabbit. The verse is in reference to Sally, a girl who suddenly passed away, leaving whoever may be narrating the song in a extremely uncomfortable, difficult to decipher sense of confusion concerning the idea of after life. It’s complex. It’s terrifying. It’s worth singing about. Before commencement, we’re thrusted into the climax of the song, with powerful strums of the acoustic guitar, leading into an dreamy outro, making the theme of eternal life even more prevalent.

Sally:



Sit still through any song on You Can’t Tame a Wild Rabbit, and focus on the messages MATAS is conveying. Invite a friend over for a living room air guitar session to “Hard Times”, as the distorted guitar perhaps makes your own “Vodka Jag” extra special. As a vodka virgin, I’v yet to experience such said ecstasy. Or for those moments of heart ache, especially concerning rocky relationships with the opposite sex, spin MATAS “Suicide”, as Matthew nonchalantly sings, “Fuck love, you’ll never be mine”, then transfers the listener into more heart-tugging outros with a commanding drum fill. Above all else, simply sit and listen. Close your eyes. Reminisce on all that is good, and treat yourself to a vodka jag or two. - Bonfire Music


"Nine Must See Shows of The Weekend."

I haven't heard too much out of Denton band Matthew and the Arrogant Sea in the last couple of years, but they pleasantly surprise everyone when they pop up every so often to play a show or two, and then retreat back into the vast ocean that is Dallas-Fort Worth. However, they are on a kick-ass bill this week with singer-songwriter aficionado Nicholas Altobelli, whose latest record, Without a Home, was a melancholic yet hopeful collection of folk poetry, so check it out! Wire Wings opens the show. -- Rachel Watt - Dallas Observer


"Daytrotter Round Two 13'"

There's proof of this in the music of a few of the bands that call the place home. Go ahead and listen to a Midlake album and tell us it's not weird - in all kinds of wonderful ways. We were all immediately smitten with the weirdness. We found nothing at all wrong with it, but it was weird nonetheless. Moving on to the subjects at hand here - Matthew & The Arrogant Sea - and we're met by another clutch of weirdness in the form of songs that are meant for those with such specific, yet broad tastes. They are the tastes of the eccentrics and those who devour record albums and mildewed books as if there were no tomorrow. There are references upon references and many of the places that the songs take us are tangential and require us to do much of the additional thinking needed to come to the conclusions of what we're supposed to be feeling. We're supposed to come up with our own meanings because few are forthcoming from the active and meandering mind of lead singer Matthew Gray.

This is the weird that comes from someone with a tuned-in brain that sidesteps the obvious and makes terrifically melodic and dense studies in idiosyncratic lives. It's the weird that you get when you're at peace with your weirdness, not the kind you get if you're completely unaware that there's anything at all odd about you. Gray seems like he could be a television and cinema junkie as well, pulling in ideas and fragments of ideas that suggest a short attention span, but one that's hungry for more content to mess around with. He sings of "Martian petting zoos" and romanticizes about standing around and holding hands as he and some her "looked at the submarines."

One of the most intriguing things that Matthew & The Arrogant Sea does is it shirks generalities. No one is just coming to see someone. They're riding a broken bicycle. No one's doing anything that we normally think about, or are giving in other songs. These are very specific relics of something real and extremely graphic that happened, or tremendous musical novellas that have beginnings, middles and ends and hearts and souls that are plump, weird and delicious. - Daytrotter.com


"Daytrotter Round Two 13'"

There's proof of this in the music of a few of the bands that call the place home. Go ahead and listen to a Midlake album and tell us it's not weird - in all kinds of wonderful ways. We were all immediately smitten with the weirdness. We found nothing at all wrong with it, but it was weird nonetheless. Moving on to the subjects at hand here - Matthew & The Arrogant Sea - and we're met by another clutch of weirdness in the form of songs that are meant for those with such specific, yet broad tastes. They are the tastes of the eccentrics and those who devour record albums and mildewed books as if there were no tomorrow. There are references upon references and many of the places that the songs take us are tangential and require us to do much of the additional thinking needed to come to the conclusions of what we're supposed to be feeling. We're supposed to come up with our own meanings because few are forthcoming from the active and meandering mind of lead singer Matthew Gray.

This is the weird that comes from someone with a tuned-in brain that sidesteps the obvious and makes terrifically melodic and dense studies in idiosyncratic lives. It's the weird that you get when you're at peace with your weirdness, not the kind you get if you're completely unaware that there's anything at all odd about you. Gray seems like he could be a television and cinema junkie as well, pulling in ideas and fragments of ideas that suggest a short attention span, but one that's hungry for more content to mess around with. He sings of "Martian petting zoos" and romanticizes about standing around and holding hands as he and some her "looked at the submarines."

One of the most intriguing things that Matthew & The Arrogant Sea does is it shirks generalities. No one is just coming to see someone. They're riding a broken bicycle. No one's doing anything that we normally think about, or are giving in other songs. These are very specific relics of something real and extremely graphic that happened, or tremendous musical novellas that have beginnings, middles and ends and hearts and souls that are plump, weird and delicious. - Daytrotter.com


"Daytrotter Session"

They are the tastes of the eccentrics and those who devour record albums and mildewed books as if there were no tomorrow. There are references upon references and many of the places that the songs take us are tangential and require us to do much of the additional thinking needed to come to the conclusions of what we're supposed to be feeling. We're supposed to come up with our own meanings because few are forthcoming from the active and meandering mind of lead singer Matthew Gray. - Daytrotter - Sean Moeller


"Matthew and the Arrogant Sea/Daniel Hart (J&J’s Pizza)"

Gray on the other hand has a true knack for writing memorable songs.... - D Magazine Front Row


"NX35 Festival supporting The Black Angels"

God bless The Black Angels. Rounding out a four-band bill, the Austin five-piece just leveled a well-attended Hailey's on Day 3. Sporting four new songs from its forthcoming album, this band shows that it had much more mileage left in the tank.

Angels shows always have a hypnotic kind of vibe, given the band's dirge-like drone. So the focus is usually on the trance more than the individual songs. And while there were plenty of guitars that sounded like air-raid sirens and drums that moved like tanks, there was something more going on here.

Maybe it was the strobe light, maybe it was a great sound mix, or maybe the band was just really on, but this was a show that could convert a passive Angels fan into a hardcore fan.

The key was the four new songs: Showing a bouncier kind of light to the band's signature sound, the crowd enjoyed what it heard. Yet the biggest response--not surprisingly--came when the snake-charmer guitar riff to "Young Man Dead" began. Not bad for a 13-song set that lasted an hour.

Of the three other acts, it was opener (and Denton-based) The River Mouth that was most surprising. Given a satisfying set by Matthew and the Arrogant Sea and a rather self-indulgent set by Jack With One Eye, it was The River Mouth that brought a small crowd up-close real early into the night. Sporting a sound described as "a less bluesy Dead Meadow" by a fellow member of the audience, the trio ripped through a droning but driving vibe.

Definitely keep tabs on those guys. - Dallas Observer


"NX35 Festival supporting The Black Angels"

God bless The Black Angels. Rounding out a four-band bill, the Austin five-piece just leveled a well-attended Hailey's on Day 3. Sporting four new songs from its forthcoming album, this band shows that it had much more mileage left in the tank.

Angels shows always have a hypnotic kind of vibe, given the band's dirge-like drone. So the focus is usually on the trance more than the individual songs. And while there were plenty of guitars that sounded like air-raid sirens and drums that moved like tanks, there was something more going on here.

Maybe it was the strobe light, maybe it was a great sound mix, or maybe the band was just really on, but this was a show that could convert a passive Angels fan into a hardcore fan.

The key was the four new songs: Showing a bouncier kind of light to the band's signature sound, the crowd enjoyed what it heard. Yet the biggest response--not surprisingly--came when the snake-charmer guitar riff to "Young Man Dead" began. Not bad for a 13-song set that lasted an hour.

Of the three other acts, it was opener (and Denton-based) The River Mouth that was most surprising. Given a satisfying set by Matthew and the Arrogant Sea and a rather self-indulgent set by Jack With One Eye, it was The River Mouth that brought a small crowd up-close real early into the night. Sporting a sound described as "a less bluesy Dead Meadow" by a fellow member of the audience, the trio ripped through a droning but driving vibe.

Definitely keep tabs on those guys. - Dallas Observer


"The Pitchfork Guide to Upcoming Releases: Fall 2008"

Arthur Russell: Love Is Overtaking Me [Audika] [U.S. release]
Bloc Party: Intimacy [Atlantic] [U.S. physical release, out now digitally]
caUSE co-MOTION!: It's Time! [Slumberland]
Crystal Stilts: Alight of Night [Slumberland]
Vic Chesnutt, Elf Power and the Amorphous Strums: Dark Developments [Orange Twin]
The Cure: 4:13 Dream [Suretone/Geffen] [North American release date]
Deerhunter: Microcastle [Kranky] [U.S. physical release, out now digitally]
Dreamend: The Long Forgotten Friend [Graveface]
Eagles of Death Metal: Heart On [Downtown]
Fight Bite: Emerald Eyes [self-released]
Fredrik: Na Na Ni [Kora]
Lucinda Wiliams: Lu in '08 [Lost Highway] [digital only]
Matthew and the Arrogant Sea: Family Family Family Meets the Magic Christian [Nova Posta Vinyl]
Matthew Dear: Body Language Vol. 7 [Get Physical]
Matthew Herbert Big Band: There's Me and There's You [!K7]
O'Death: Broken Hymns, Limbs and Skin [Kemado]
Red Eyed Legends: Wake Up, Legend [File 13]
Red Snapper: Pale Blue Dot [Lo Recordings]
Ryan Adams and the Cardinals: Cardinology [Lost Highway]
School of Seven Bells: Alpinisms [Ghostly International]
SCSI-9: Easy as Down [Kompakt]
Snow Patrol: A Hundred Million Suns [Geffen]
The Twang: Love It When I Feel Like This [Arena Rock]
Various Artists: Perfect as Cats: A Tribute to the Cure [Manimal Vinyl] (moved to November 11) - Pitchfork Media


"The Pitchfork Guide to Upcoming Releases: Fall 2008"

Arthur Russell: Love Is Overtaking Me [Audika] [U.S. release]
Bloc Party: Intimacy [Atlantic] [U.S. physical release, out now digitally]
caUSE co-MOTION!: It's Time! [Slumberland]
Crystal Stilts: Alight of Night [Slumberland]
Vic Chesnutt, Elf Power and the Amorphous Strums: Dark Developments [Orange Twin]
The Cure: 4:13 Dream [Suretone/Geffen] [North American release date]
Deerhunter: Microcastle [Kranky] [U.S. physical release, out now digitally]
Dreamend: The Long Forgotten Friend [Graveface]
Eagles of Death Metal: Heart On [Downtown]
Fight Bite: Emerald Eyes [self-released]
Fredrik: Na Na Ni [Kora]
Lucinda Wiliams: Lu in '08 [Lost Highway] [digital only]
Matthew and the Arrogant Sea: Family Family Family Meets the Magic Christian [Nova Posta Vinyl]
Matthew Dear: Body Language Vol. 7 [Get Physical]
Matthew Herbert Big Band: There's Me and There's You [!K7]
O'Death: Broken Hymns, Limbs and Skin [Kemado]
Red Eyed Legends: Wake Up, Legend [File 13]
Red Snapper: Pale Blue Dot [Lo Recordings]
Ryan Adams and the Cardinals: Cardinology [Lost Highway]
School of Seven Bells: Alpinisms [Ghostly International]
SCSI-9: Easy as Down [Kompakt]
Snow Patrol: A Hundred Million Suns [Geffen]
The Twang: Love It When I Feel Like This [Arena Rock]
Various Artists: Perfect as Cats: A Tribute to the Cure [Manimal Vinyl] (moved to November 11) - Pitchfork Media


"Akron Family/MATAS Show"

It's been awhile since I've done a tix giveaway for a big show, but here's one I know you'll want to jump on: Our good friends at The Granada Theater have given us three pairs of tix to give away for the show this Thursday featuring Akron/Family with support from Warpaint and Denton's own Matthew And The Arrogant Sea.
- My Denton Music


"Akron Family/MATAS Show"

It's been awhile since I've done a tix giveaway for a big show, but here's one I know you'll want to jump on: Our good friends at The Granada Theater have given us three pairs of tix to give away for the show this Thursday featuring Akron/Family with support from Warpaint and Denton's own Matthew And The Arrogant Sea.
- My Denton Music


"LA Weekly - Midlake/MATAS at The El Rey Theatre"

Midlake brought its "softer side of rock" to a packed house Wednesday night at the El Rey. Matthew and the Arrogant Sea opened the show. - LA Weekly


"LA Weekly - Midlake/MATAS at The El Rey Theatre"

Midlake brought its "softer side of rock" to a packed house Wednesday night at the El Rey. Matthew and the Arrogant Sea opened the show. - LA Weekly


"Concert Review - Supporting Midlake in SF, CA at The Great American Music Hall"

Opening was the fello Denton, Texas crew, Matthew and the Arrogant Sea. The combination of the hushed, indie balladry with the spacious guitar rock made these guys a welcome addition to the short line-up. Mixing boogie-soaked country and the wail of Matthew’s echoing falsetto may have gained a few skeptical audience members. - Kata Rokkar


"Concert Review - Supporting Midlake in SF, CA at The Great American Music Hall"

Opening was the fello Denton, Texas crew, Matthew and the Arrogant Sea. The combination of the hushed, indie balladry with the spacious guitar rock made these guys a welcome addition to the short line-up. Mixing boogie-soaked country and the wail of Matthew’s echoing falsetto may have gained a few skeptical audience members. - Kata Rokkar


"Hey Reverb Live Review - Denver, CO Bluebird Theater supporting Midlake"

Touring in support of new CD “The Courage of Others,” Denton, Texas act Midlake played to a roughly 75 percent capacity, jammed-in-front audience at the Bluebird Thursday night. Midlake’s sound has been compared at times to Fleetwood Mac, late ’60s U.K. folk, Nick Drake and Jethro Tull. Complicating matters, for some, Midlake’s sound, over the course of their career, hasn’t merely evolved but changed with the release of each successive album.

View a full photo gallery of this concert here.

The band’s latest direction largely drops the rock from the band’s earlier folk-rock, which can make for a challenging show to some concertgoers — particularly the few who may have shown up Thursday night expecting to get their weekend party started early. For the most part, however, the audience cut the typical “Can you hear me over this damn music?” chatter to accommodate the quieter sound of the show. This show, more than most, called for people being able to sit down and take it in.

While opening with a sizable portion of the new album, including the gorgeous “Rulers, Ruling All Things,” the band’s overall sound, complemented on this tour by two additional musicians (flute and guitar), was still restrained and certainly minor key but never morose or dirge-like, the vocals more reflective than brooding or morose. The two part harmonies created the desired effect quite well. The occasional three-part ones soared.

Still, when Midlake lead singer Tim Smith asked mid-set if the audience would mind if they played a few songs off their previous album, “The Trials of Van Occupanther,” the pace clearly picked up. A highlight toward the end of the hour-plus set was when drummer McKenzie Smith and the band showed off their jazz student chops on an extended jam that never seemed gratuitous or wanky.

Midlake’s performance showed a clear confidence in their new direction and, as trained musicians, executed it all remarkably well. The audience seemed very appreciative or as appreciative as one might expect, given the introverted nature of the new songs.

Fellow Texan opening act, Matthew and the Arrogant Sea, showed some potential, relying often on guitar effects to create a nice gauzy sound. - Hey Reverb


"Hey Reverb Live Review - Denver, CO Bluebird Theater supporting Midlake"

Touring in support of new CD “The Courage of Others,” Denton, Texas act Midlake played to a roughly 75 percent capacity, jammed-in-front audience at the Bluebird Thursday night. Midlake’s sound has been compared at times to Fleetwood Mac, late ’60s U.K. folk, Nick Drake and Jethro Tull. Complicating matters, for some, Midlake’s sound, over the course of their career, hasn’t merely evolved but changed with the release of each successive album.

View a full photo gallery of this concert here.

The band’s latest direction largely drops the rock from the band’s earlier folk-rock, which can make for a challenging show to some concertgoers — particularly the few who may have shown up Thursday night expecting to get their weekend party started early. For the most part, however, the audience cut the typical “Can you hear me over this damn music?” chatter to accommodate the quieter sound of the show. This show, more than most, called for people being able to sit down and take it in.

While opening with a sizable portion of the new album, including the gorgeous “Rulers, Ruling All Things,” the band’s overall sound, complemented on this tour by two additional musicians (flute and guitar), was still restrained and certainly minor key but never morose or dirge-like, the vocals more reflective than brooding or morose. The two part harmonies created the desired effect quite well. The occasional three-part ones soared.

Still, when Midlake lead singer Tim Smith asked mid-set if the audience would mind if they played a few songs off their previous album, “The Trials of Van Occupanther,” the pace clearly picked up. A highlight toward the end of the hour-plus set was when drummer McKenzie Smith and the band showed off their jazz student chops on an extended jam that never seemed gratuitous or wanky.

Midlake’s performance showed a clear confidence in their new direction and, as trained musicians, executed it all remarkably well. The audience seemed very appreciative or as appreciative as one might expect, given the introverted nature of the new songs.

Fellow Texan opening act, Matthew and the Arrogant Sea, showed some potential, relying often on guitar effects to create a nice gauzy sound. - Hey Reverb


"Supporting Midlake in Solana Beach, CA - Stereogum"

The second show of Midlake’s The Courage Of Others support tour brought a good bit of Denton, TX (openers Matthew And The Arrogant Sea also hail from the UNT homebase) and a 90 minute headlining set to Southern California’s Solana Beach. Not a sellout, but a vocally thankful crowd, inspiring the band to apologize for taking so long between albums. They made it up by busting out flutes and recorders, working through their stoner-side eco-friendly Brit folk revivalism, and selling Midlake cozies — mark one more for the fertile indie rock/beer intersect. Grab a cold one and have a pass at these photos by Andrew Youssef. - Stereogum


"Supporting Midlake in Solana Beach, CA - Stereogum"

The second show of Midlake’s The Courage Of Others support tour brought a good bit of Denton, TX (openers Matthew And The Arrogant Sea also hail from the UNT homebase) and a 90 minute headlining set to Southern California’s Solana Beach. Not a sellout, but a vocally thankful crowd, inspiring the band to apologize for taking so long between albums. They made it up by busting out flutes and recorders, working through their stoner-side eco-friendly Brit folk revivalism, and selling Midlake cozies — mark one more for the fertile indie rock/beer intersect. Grab a cold one and have a pass at these photos by Andrew Youssef. - Stereogum


"Team Clermont - The Cropper"


Nova Posta Vinyl, the new record label formed by Bella Union recording artists Eric Pulido (of Midlake) and Robert Gomez, is pleased to announce its first release, Matthew and the Arrogant Sea, Family Family Family Meets The Magic Christian, available October 28th, 2008. This 14-song odyssey is filled with melodious gems that evoke the experimental natures of The Flaming Lips and Animal Collective perched upon harmonies reminiscent of The Beach Boys and Fleet Foxes. Matthew and the Arrogant Sea's Family Family Family Meets The Magic Christian is sure to make great waves this year and for many to come. Check them out live at the following:

Oct 25, 2008 - 3:00PM In Store @ Good Records - Dallas, Texas
Oct 25, 2008 - Dan’s Silverleaf - Denton, Texas
Oct 26, 2008 - Emos - Austin, Texas
Oct 30, 2008 - Fort Worth, Texas
Nov 02, 2008 - Spaceland - Los Angeles, California
Nov 04, 2008 - Kimo’s - San Fransisco, California
Nov 06, 2008 - The Empyrean - Spokane, Washington
Nov 07, 2008 - Chop Suey - Seattle, Washington
Nov 09, 2008 - Kilby Court - Salt Lake City, Utah
Nov 10, 2008 - Meadowlark - Denver, Colorado
Dec 20, 2008 - Dans Silverleaf - Denton, Texas - Team Clermont


"Team Clermont - The Cropper"


Nova Posta Vinyl, the new record label formed by Bella Union recording artists Eric Pulido (of Midlake) and Robert Gomez, is pleased to announce its first release, Matthew and the Arrogant Sea, Family Family Family Meets The Magic Christian, available October 28th, 2008. This 14-song odyssey is filled with melodious gems that evoke the experimental natures of The Flaming Lips and Animal Collective perched upon harmonies reminiscent of The Beach Boys and Fleet Foxes. Matthew and the Arrogant Sea's Family Family Family Meets The Magic Christian is sure to make great waves this year and for many to come. Check them out live at the following:

Oct 25, 2008 - 3:00PM In Store @ Good Records - Dallas, Texas
Oct 25, 2008 - Dan’s Silverleaf - Denton, Texas
Oct 26, 2008 - Emos - Austin, Texas
Oct 30, 2008 - Fort Worth, Texas
Nov 02, 2008 - Spaceland - Los Angeles, California
Nov 04, 2008 - Kimo’s - San Fransisco, California
Nov 06, 2008 - The Empyrean - Spokane, Washington
Nov 07, 2008 - Chop Suey - Seattle, Washington
Nov 09, 2008 - Kilby Court - Salt Lake City, Utah
Nov 10, 2008 - Meadowlark - Denver, Colorado
Dec 20, 2008 - Dans Silverleaf - Denton, Texas - Team Clermont


"The Yellow Stereo - The Daily Graboid"

Halloween is only a few days away, and hopefully we’ll have ourselves lots of treats in the form of these new album releases. A couple of goodies that I definitely can recommend include two releases from Slumberland Records – caUSE co-MOTION’s It’s Time! and Crystal Stilts’ Alight of Night. If indiepop doesn’t tickle your fancy, and you want something a little darker, maybe take a look at Deerhunter’s Microcastle or Ryan Adams and The Cardinals’ Cardinology? Actually, no thanks on either of those for me, just not my cup of tea. Besides recommendations of albums this week, what candy do you prefer to give or receive on Halloween? Let us know! I’ll take Reeses Cups if anyone was curious… - The Yellow Stereo


"The Yellow Stereo - The Daily Graboid"

Halloween is only a few days away, and hopefully we’ll have ourselves lots of treats in the form of these new album releases. A couple of goodies that I definitely can recommend include two releases from Slumberland Records – caUSE co-MOTION’s It’s Time! and Crystal Stilts’ Alight of Night. If indiepop doesn’t tickle your fancy, and you want something a little darker, maybe take a look at Deerhunter’s Microcastle or Ryan Adams and The Cardinals’ Cardinology? Actually, no thanks on either of those for me, just not my cup of tea. Besides recommendations of albums this week, what candy do you prefer to give or receive on Halloween? Let us know! I’ll take Reeses Cups if anyone was curious… - The Yellow Stereo


"Track Review - Mock Origami"

While the track itself hasn’t even been released in a form that doesn’t flow through the intertubes, Denton band Matthew and the Arrogant Sea‘s “Mock Origami” is a refreshing look at the recent Texas Indie Minimalism that has been popular of late.

(Note: Track is first to autoplay on the band’s Myspace)

Within the first few seconds, the song comes alive with a sense of humanity and spirit that makes one’s skin tingle; an army of hands clap/snap along to the haunting sound of Matthew Gray’s resonating voice. The collaboration of the other Grays, Jacob and Caleb, as well as the other members, combine to bring forth a series of harmonies that give each lyric a feeling of circling emotion. The voices flutter around one another like fish in a school, never colliding but forming instead a collective body that moves with each acoustic guitar strum. The coalescing vocals hearken back to Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers, and makes Arrogant Sea stand above its peers.

Gentle bass notes resonate and sustain, and while they may be the only major electric element in the song, they are so warm that they seem far from dead or digital. Despite this humanity, the song does carry with it a weight and a sadness like an old hymnal. Definitely, there is some indie influence from the likes of Arcade Fire and some of the newer shit-tons-of-people-in-one-band groups, but both because of the style and the recording quality — warm, classic, and analog sounding — it feels old as well as new.

Late in the track , a closing segment cuts out almost all instrumentation and lets the voices carry the weight of the song (not that they don’t already, anyway), as they sing “goodbye, goodbye”. A warbling electronic noise can be heard slightly in the background, like a lingering specter.

Expect much from Matthew and the Arrogant Sea in the upcoming months — their album “Family, Family, Family Meets the Magic Christian” is released on Oct. 28th, and they are having an upcoming show with Calm Blue Sea (oh, similar band names…) at Mohawk on the 28th.

For those still intrigued, here’s Arrogant Sea’s music video for “Pretty Purple Top Hat”; the 1950s space cartoon vibe can give an idea to those without ears what this looks like. Retropop vocals over electroharp is different from “Mock Origami” for sure, but equally as interesting. - Skyscraper stereophile


"Track Review - Mock Origami"

While the track itself hasn’t even been released in a form that doesn’t flow through the intertubes, Denton band Matthew and the Arrogant Sea‘s “Mock Origami” is a refreshing look at the recent Texas Indie Minimalism that has been popular of late.

(Note: Track is first to autoplay on the band’s Myspace)

Within the first few seconds, the song comes alive with a sense of humanity and spirit that makes one’s skin tingle; an army of hands clap/snap along to the haunting sound of Matthew Gray’s resonating voice. The collaboration of the other Grays, Jacob and Caleb, as well as the other members, combine to bring forth a series of harmonies that give each lyric a feeling of circling emotion. The voices flutter around one another like fish in a school, never colliding but forming instead a collective body that moves with each acoustic guitar strum. The coalescing vocals hearken back to Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers, and makes Arrogant Sea stand above its peers.

Gentle bass notes resonate and sustain, and while they may be the only major electric element in the song, they are so warm that they seem far from dead or digital. Despite this humanity, the song does carry with it a weight and a sadness like an old hymnal. Definitely, there is some indie influence from the likes of Arcade Fire and some of the newer shit-tons-of-people-in-one-band groups, but both because of the style and the recording quality — warm, classic, and analog sounding — it feels old as well as new.

Late in the track , a closing segment cuts out almost all instrumentation and lets the voices carry the weight of the song (not that they don’t already, anyway), as they sing “goodbye, goodbye”. A warbling electronic noise can be heard slightly in the background, like a lingering specter.

Expect much from Matthew and the Arrogant Sea in the upcoming months — their album “Family, Family, Family Meets the Magic Christian” is released on Oct. 28th, and they are having an upcoming show with Calm Blue Sea (oh, similar band names…) at Mohawk on the 28th.

For those still intrigued, here’s Arrogant Sea’s music video for “Pretty Purple Top Hat”; the 1950s space cartoon vibe can give an idea to those without ears what this looks like. Retropop vocals over electroharp is different from “Mock Origami” for sure, but equally as interesting. - Skyscraper stereophile


"Fense Post Album Review"

The world appears to be crumbling around us and it seems like there’s nothing we can do. As I sit here typing, CNN is discussing the collapse of AIG, which affects IFLC, which in turn has great potential to harm Airbus and Boeing (I bet right now you’re calculating just how long this review has been sitting in the queue, waiting to be posted). Already in Washington the unemployment rate is greater than 6 percent—I am part of that statistic (also an item that has changed since this review was first “written”). There’s a growing desperation in the air and it’s tough not to get caught up in the stress of it all, cause there’s not much we can do but wait it out.

These compounding statistics and free-falling economy are scary—I’m beginning to feel the tightness of the stress in my shoulders, sneaking up into my neck and into the base of my skull, growing into the dull throb of a pending headache. When all seems hopeless, there’s one thing I can do to push it all away: listen to lovable indie pop music. Right now, I’m turning to the folk-pop pleasantries of Matthew & The Arrogant Sea.

Their latest is Family Family Family Meets The Magic Christian, and it’s an album packed with pleasant, laid-back melodies. Take “Solomon Burke Greatest Hits”, a soft folky track with a hefty emphasis on a minimal percussion and backing tonal vocals—it’s crafted quite nicely, like much of The Magic Christian.

There’s an occasional underlying psychedelic current that selectively appears throughout the album. While most tunes are simplistic in their folk and pop sensibilities, others like openers “Within The Universe” and “Marry Me Annie”, and midpoint “Mock Origami” include a louder, fuller sound that dabbles lightly in a psychedelic 70s influence.

It is in the more psychedelic moments that Matthew Gray—the primary force behind The Arrogant Sea—adds orchestration. But even the softer tunes are sometimes orchestrated or psyched out, a key example being “Negro Jewish”, which has the dreamy psych elements yet also fits the softer side of The Magic Christian. Then there’s the heftier, more powerful psych found in the group’s epic tune “The Wizard”.

Gray often adds a light humor into his songs—“Pretty Purple Top Hat”, as one of the most powerful songs on the album, is a classic example. So, to counter the building stress, I think I’ll close the blinds, close my eyes, and crank up The Magic Christian and let the dreamy tunes whisk me away from it all… - Fense Post


"Fense Post Album Review"

The world appears to be crumbling around us and it seems like there’s nothing we can do. As I sit here typing, CNN is discussing the collapse of AIG, which affects IFLC, which in turn has great potential to harm Airbus and Boeing (I bet right now you’re calculating just how long this review has been sitting in the queue, waiting to be posted). Already in Washington the unemployment rate is greater than 6 percent—I am part of that statistic (also an item that has changed since this review was first “written”). There’s a growing desperation in the air and it’s tough not to get caught up in the stress of it all, cause there’s not much we can do but wait it out.

These compounding statistics and free-falling economy are scary—I’m beginning to feel the tightness of the stress in my shoulders, sneaking up into my neck and into the base of my skull, growing into the dull throb of a pending headache. When all seems hopeless, there’s one thing I can do to push it all away: listen to lovable indie pop music. Right now, I’m turning to the folk-pop pleasantries of Matthew & The Arrogant Sea.

Their latest is Family Family Family Meets The Magic Christian, and it’s an album packed with pleasant, laid-back melodies. Take “Solomon Burke Greatest Hits”, a soft folky track with a hefty emphasis on a minimal percussion and backing tonal vocals—it’s crafted quite nicely, like much of The Magic Christian.

There’s an occasional underlying psychedelic current that selectively appears throughout the album. While most tunes are simplistic in their folk and pop sensibilities, others like openers “Within The Universe” and “Marry Me Annie”, and midpoint “Mock Origami” include a louder, fuller sound that dabbles lightly in a psychedelic 70s influence.

It is in the more psychedelic moments that Matthew Gray—the primary force behind The Arrogant Sea—adds orchestration. But even the softer tunes are sometimes orchestrated or psyched out, a key example being “Negro Jewish”, which has the dreamy psych elements yet also fits the softer side of The Magic Christian. Then there’s the heftier, more powerful psych found in the group’s epic tune “The Wizard”.

Gray often adds a light humor into his songs—“Pretty Purple Top Hat”, as one of the most powerful songs on the album, is a classic example. So, to counter the building stress, I think I’ll close the blinds, close my eyes, and crank up The Magic Christian and let the dreamy tunes whisk me away from it all… - Fense Post


"Concert Review"

So I found out about Matthew and the Arrogant Sea because I was trying to find the worst, most annoying indie/emo bands in town for a blog about how much modern music sucks ass; I found their name on We Shot JR and thought, These guys have the most awful band name ever. From the sound of the band name, they probably have beards and wear ironic tee shirts and sing terrible, whiny indie-rock. Pictures of the band showed a bunch of dudes with, you guessed it, beards, ironic tee shirts, and trendy hair. Bingo, thinks I. This band is bound to suck bad. So I went to their Myspace and listened to a track, and was shocked out of my socks.

See, Matthew and the Arrogant Sea are good. Really good. I was so impressed that I hauled ass out to Denton last night to watch them open for the Paper Chase, and see if this band could deliver live as well as they could in recorded form. And once again, MATAS (doesn’t even translate into a good acronym! wow does the band name suck!) blew me the fuck away. Their set was as close to perfect as I’ve seen in recent memory. Singer/songwriter Matthew Gray (at least there’s actually a Matthew in the damn band) is truly a formidable talent, crafting brilliantly ambient folk-rock with a serious ear for a good pop hook, and delivering it to us via powerhouse vocals. Gray has stocked his band with some solid talent. The two guitarists used lots of effects in their playing, which was really striking and original for a folksy act like this. Honestly, the guitar work reminded me a bit of Course of Empire’s inimitable Mike Graff, which is a huge compliment coming from me. These kids are really ambitious in their approach, and, for the most part, they deliver. Like I said, I really, really like this band. Seriously. Go to their myspace (linked above) and have a listen. - Radio Silence


"Quit Your Day Job- Stereogum"

Eric Pulido plays guitar in Midlake: The Texas band, who last released The Trials of Van Occupanther two years ago, are currently at work on a followup in their Denton studio. Pulido also stays busy running a coffee company Cappulido and Nova Posta Vinyl, a label he started with fellow Bella Union artist Robert Gomez. I spoke with him about his coffee and his label, learning the intricacies of “Fair Trade” beans and seemingly confirming my thoughts about flavored coffee. After our conversation, take a listen to Nova Posta’s first band, Denton-based folksy and psychedelic (in a Flaming Lips’ sense) Matthew and the Arrogant Sea. (Note: From Thermals and Man Man to Panther, Tiny Vipers, and Megafaun, coffee is a common theme in indie rock day jobs, but this is the first time I’ve spoken to someone who owns his own company.)...visit link for interview. - Stereogum


"Quit Your Day Job- Stereogum"

Eric Pulido plays guitar in Midlake: The Texas band, who last released The Trials of Van Occupanther two years ago, are currently at work on a followup in their Denton studio. Pulido also stays busy running a coffee company Cappulido and Nova Posta Vinyl, a label he started with fellow Bella Union artist Robert Gomez. I spoke with him about his coffee and his label, learning the intricacies of “Fair Trade” beans and seemingly confirming my thoughts about flavored coffee. After our conversation, take a listen to Nova Posta’s first band, Denton-based folksy and psychedelic (in a Flaming Lips’ sense) Matthew and the Arrogant Sea. (Note: From Thermals and Man Man to Panther, Tiny Vipers, and Megafaun, coffee is a common theme in indie rock day jobs, but this is the first time I’ve spoken to someone who owns his own company.)...visit link for interview. - Stereogum


"Art & Seek:Track By Track"

Art & Seek:Track By Track: Family Family Family Meets The Magic Christian - Art & Seek


"AOL Spinner:MP3 of the Day"

MP3 of the Day: Pretty Purple Top Hat - AOL Spinner


"Absolute Punk Album Review"

We are silhouettes floating across the sea

Matthew Gray and the fifteen other members/collaborators that swim in and out of Matthew and the Arrogant Sea have seen something that no one else has seen. A straggly fleet of ships, each bearing a small, sweet story, drifted over some unknown ocean and into Gray’s head. Each one sailed out from his fingers and into Family Family Family Meets the Magic Christian, an oddball collection of folked-out tales, rambling music, and bewildering concepts. It’s a scattered album, sewn from equal parts Neutral Milk Hotel, The Flaming Lips, and The Beta Band, while making even less sense. Put simply, it’s not an easy album to digest. With a little patience and a lot of Aspirin, all you can do is dive in headfirst.

The first wave, “Within The Universe,” carries with it the menagerie of wispy moods and soft, punctuated instrumentation that typifies the album. Some of the lyrics (maybe from the chorus?) hint at the general eclecticism that sloshes about in Gray’s skull: “You might be a martian or a bumble bee/ You might be a grandfather to the world/ But all my friends are aliens, baby.” Suuuure. The tune floats on a luxuriant current of “ooo’s” and “ahhh’s” and “doo’s” and “dah’s.” This pattern provides a plush cushion on which the music rests, but after a full album of these nonsensical supporting words, the cushion starts to resemble a crutch. With such a robust collection of musicians tucked under its tent, it’s a wonder the band can’t come up with some sort of alternative layering scheme.

That said, each track does seem to bring new instruments on board. From the brilliant backing bells of “Olive Was An Oliver” to the finger-snaps of “Mock Origami” and the analog electronics of “Pretty Purple Top Hat,” there’s no shortage of musical deckhands. It’s when the band is at their most basic, though, that they shine the brightest. “You Still Love Me Blondie” jams with the closest thing to dirty riffs on the album and “The Zoot,” while still relying on a simple backbone of “Oh Jonathan/ Oh Jonathan/ Oh Jonathan,” is radiant and energetic. Aided by a gust of subtle accordion pulses and some nuanced drops of plucked guitar, the two minute beauty of “Mountain Kansas” is easily some of band’s best work. It’s an effortless relaxation that is somehow missed in many of the album’s lesser tracks. And for one of the band’s most impressive tricks, the percussive chords and bombastic chorales of “The Wizard” somehow render the words “He is the wizard!/ He is the wizard!/ He is the wizard!” un-nerdy and actually quite exciting.

If you crane your neck, you might be able to see Matthew and the Arrogant Sea’s vision somewhere on the horizon. But damn, it sure is far away. There’s certainly something to be said for the band’s rollicking dreamscapes, but their over-reliance on comparable song structures sucks some of the sentimentality out of the sound. Repetition leads to boredom. Repetition leads to boredom. Repetition leads to boredom. The stories teased out of Gray’s eccentric lyrics, when decipherable, are strangely engaging. But what should be whimsical quickly becomes tired and the album’s gems lose their sparkle amid the sea of similarities. - Absolute Punk


"Absolute Punk Album Review"

We are silhouettes floating across the sea

Matthew Gray and the fifteen other members/collaborators that swim in and out of Matthew and the Arrogant Sea have seen something that no one else has seen. A straggly fleet of ships, each bearing a small, sweet story, drifted over some unknown ocean and into Gray’s head. Each one sailed out from his fingers and into Family Family Family Meets the Magic Christian, an oddball collection of folked-out tales, rambling music, and bewildering concepts. It’s a scattered album, sewn from equal parts Neutral Milk Hotel, The Flaming Lips, and The Beta Band, while making even less sense. Put simply, it’s not an easy album to digest. With a little patience and a lot of Aspirin, all you can do is dive in headfirst.

The first wave, “Within The Universe,” carries with it the menagerie of wispy moods and soft, punctuated instrumentation that typifies the album. Some of the lyrics (maybe from the chorus?) hint at the general eclecticism that sloshes about in Gray’s skull: “You might be a martian or a bumble bee/ You might be a grandfather to the world/ But all my friends are aliens, baby.” Suuuure. The tune floats on a luxuriant current of “ooo’s” and “ahhh’s” and “doo’s” and “dah’s.” This pattern provides a plush cushion on which the music rests, but after a full album of these nonsensical supporting words, the cushion starts to resemble a crutch. With such a robust collection of musicians tucked under its tent, it’s a wonder the band can’t come up with some sort of alternative layering scheme.

That said, each track does seem to bring new instruments on board. From the brilliant backing bells of “Olive Was An Oliver” to the finger-snaps of “Mock Origami” and the analog electronics of “Pretty Purple Top Hat,” there’s no shortage of musical deckhands. It’s when the band is at their most basic, though, that they shine the brightest. “You Still Love Me Blondie” jams with the closest thing to dirty riffs on the album and “The Zoot,” while still relying on a simple backbone of “Oh Jonathan/ Oh Jonathan/ Oh Jonathan,” is radiant and energetic. Aided by a gust of subtle accordion pulses and some nuanced drops of plucked guitar, the two minute beauty of “Mountain Kansas” is easily some of band’s best work. It’s an effortless relaxation that is somehow missed in many of the album’s lesser tracks. And for one of the band’s most impressive tricks, the percussive chords and bombastic chorales of “The Wizard” somehow render the words “He is the wizard!/ He is the wizard!/ He is the wizard!” un-nerdy and actually quite exciting.

If you crane your neck, you might be able to see Matthew and the Arrogant Sea’s vision somewhere on the horizon. But damn, it sure is far away. There’s certainly something to be said for the band’s rollicking dreamscapes, but their over-reliance on comparable song structures sucks some of the sentimentality out of the sound. Repetition leads to boredom. Repetition leads to boredom. Repetition leads to boredom. The stories teased out of Gray’s eccentric lyrics, when decipherable, are strangely engaging. But what should be whimsical quickly becomes tired and the album’s gems lose their sparkle amid the sea of similarities. - Absolute Punk


"Paste Magazine Album Review"

A modest debut

Whistles, lasers, bubbles, programmed blips, Bronx cheers and jittery strings adorn this Texas troupe’s first full-length—but quirks can’t always supply substance to feathery acoustic strums. Still, there’s upwelling evidence here of capable symphonic blends: Opener “Within the Universe” spills over with joyful noisemaking and affirmations of friends (including aliens); “Negro Jewish” showcases ambient, melodic cycles that layer into progressively darker soundscapes; and “Mock Origami” draws on cavernous choral accompaniment, background warbling and rattlesnake tambourine to secure some of the band’s strongest collaborative moments. Although several tracks never quite develop beyond lulling repetition, and Matthew Gray’s lyrics have the tendency to nudge whimsical absurdity into outré distractions (“Last time I saw Jesus / He was talking to Elvis Presley / he was mimicking all the zebras”), there's an all-hands-on-deck spirit here that makes Family an auspicious debut, even if these tempestuous avant-pop waters are difficult to navigate.

- Paste Magazine


Discography

"Family Family Family Meets The Magic Christian" Oct. 2008

"You Can't Tame A Wild Rabbit" September 11th, 2012

"Up With The Owl (ep)" August 1, 2012,

"Black Dresses (ep)" July 1st, 2013

"The Glooms" Coming October 2013.


Photos

Bio

Matthew and the Arrogant Sea is the indie-pop brainchild of talented singer and songwriter Matthew Gray, Over the years the band has received phenomenal reviews from Paste magazine, Pop Matters, Absolute Punk and Prefix Magazine,Daytrotter, as well as local nominations for best band, best record, best live act and best song,best male vocalist, and a record nomination for one of the best local releases in the past Decade in DFW.

Matthew Gray started his career performing solo at local venues while continuing to fine-tune his craft. In 2006 his musical vision swelled as The Arrogant Sea was introduced into the world. Together, MATAS was able to create a sound like no other: part folk, part experimental—a whirlwind of melodies and striking lyrics, which still to this day, continue to develop. This unique sound enabled MATAS to be picked up by the Nova Posta Label in 2008. With the release of their first full LP "Family Family Family Meets The Magic Christian", the band reached new heights; including being named one of the best releases of 2008 by the Dallas Observer. With the drop of this record, MATAS went from being a small local band to a national touring band, traveling all around Texas and up the West Coast and playing with bands such as Akron Family, Dungen, Asobi Seksu, The Paper Chase, Woods, Centro-matic, The Black Angels, Warpaint, Clem Snide, The Middle East, Women, The Starlight Mints and many others. With all this inspiration brewing, it was time to start a second record, so in 2009 MATAS hit the studio. The band took a small break from recording in 2010 to tour with Midlake, even though the Dallas Observer was hailing “You Can’t Tame A Wild Rabbit” one of the most anticipated records of the year. As of now, the band's sound continues to grow and change, morphing as members bring more and more talent to the table.

Upon the release of, "You Can't Tame a wild Rabbit" the band hit the road, supporting acts such as, Danielsen, and Here We Go Magic.

After a short pause, the band hit the studio again to begin tracking a brand new single (ep), entitled "Black Dresses" while they fine tune the writings for their next LP.