Prettier Than Matt
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Prettier Than Matt

Columbia, South Carolina, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | SELF

Columbia, South Carolina, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2010
Duo Americana Pop




"Prettier Than Matt - Play Pretty Review"

Columbia’s acoustic folk rock duo Prettier Than Matt have dropped their first record, “Play Pretty” and the results bode well for their future. Jessica Skinner and Jeff Pitts both take turns singing lead, although she gets the lion’s share of the duties here. The band set-up might draw comparisons with groups like She & Him, although Prettier Than Matt are definitely playing in a more traditional style of pop than that duo, which is in their favor. Skinner’s great voice reminds me of Alison Krauss or even a country-tinged Hayley Williams. The playing is professional and well-produced, a folky kind of acoustic rock, with spare percussion, if any, on some of the songs.

The songs themselves mostly deal with issues of failed relationships or lost loved ones and both singers surrender an emotional appeal in their lyrics. This is not to say this record is a downbeat affair; “The La La Song” is a sweetly sung, meta tune written about itself and the process of songwriting. And yes, in answer to the song’s request, I’m sure many will sing along due to Skinner’s catchy chorus. “All I Want is You”, a marriage proposal sung by Pitts, finds that place where acoustic rock and country meet and make folk. His voice and the feel of the song bring Steve Earle to my mind. An ’80s cover comes as no surprise from the two, and their rendition of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” is both true to her and themselves. The string playing varies from simple, to fit the song, to nicely complex. There are really well-done solos to be found in “Nowhere to be Found” and “Miss You”, the latter of which makes me think Jeff must have been jamming to some acoustic Tesla songs somewhere along the line?

All in all, it’s a righteous debut and Columbia is lucky to have such a pair gracing us with their sounds. Looking forward to seeing them doing this material live!

Recommended for fans of: Tesla, Steve Earle, She and Him - South Carolina Music Guide

"Prettier Than Matt – Prettier Than Matt Review"

Columbia folk rock duo Prettier Than Matt have followed up last year’s “Play Pretty” with a self-titled EP that once again showcases their forays into poppy acoustic rock territory. Produced at the always quality Archer Avenue by Kenny McWilliams, the five songs clock in at under 14 minutes, mirroring the short-but-sweet, in-and-out aesthetic of the arrangements themselves. Jeff Pitts (vocals and guitar hero) and Jessica Skinner (vocals and ukulele heroine) are still pushing out great little pop gems, with a little help from Brendan Bull (drums) and McWilliams (bass) in the studio.

EP opener “Play Dead” is a clean electric blues number with great fills and a perfect solo, courtesy of Pitts. Jessica’s singing is honey smooth as usual, with no rough edges. “I Spilled My Drink” with its lightly rolling movement belies its slightly somber subject of someone relieving a day of boredom with a liquid refreshment. With mood help set by melodica (!) accompaniment from Jessica, Jeff gets the listener involved in an ordinary moment in someone’s life. I am taking the song title “Jim & Pam” at face-value as a reference to the famous couple from The Office, but the love song, buoyed by gentle strings mixed with a determined but sweet piano part, could be about any lovers. During the chorus, the lines “When you fall apart/ I’ll hold you together” surmounts any of its commonplace lyrical currency by the great wrapping of the traded vocals over each other like a pair of lover’s arm themselves. “Clouds” is more acoustic rock with a bit of a dark cast. Jessica’s singing has that almost-country feel, and her clean technique shines through here. “Parental Advisory” is light-hearted (yes, that’s a kazoo!) and gives her a chance to entertain us with suggestions from her Dad. The songs ends with studio applause, giving it the vibe of a live show, something the two are becoming quite used to with all the gigs they have been playing, honing the Prettier Than Matt sound.

Any record that starts with “My mama told me” on the first song and then closes with “My father always told me” on the last one could definitely be construed as an endorsement for learning from your forebears and PTM have obviously been paying attention in the songwriting and musicianship departments. While I wish for more songs, this short set should satisfy fans both new and old until we can get them back in the studio again.

Recommended if you like: She & Him, Alison Krauss, Iron & Wine - South Carolina Music Guitar


Play Pretty: 2013
Prettier Than Matt: 2014
Christmas Jams: 2014



Few bands these days evoke a sense of pure fun on stage while also maintaining true talent and professionalism. Jeff Pitts and Jessica Skinner’s connection with the audience is, like their music, laid back and approachable, while their connection with each other is electric.

Living in South Carolina has sparked Jeff and Jessica’s love for folk and rock music. Prettier Than Matt is folky in their instrumentation, while being both catchy and edgy for a show that just makes the audience feel good. The duo makes music their own way and continues to spread out in infinite directions.

Fueled with good-spirited energy, Prettier Than Matt began as a classic DIY band in 2010 with local gigs. Now, with three albums – one of which was fully funded by a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign – and two national tours under their belts, Jeff and Jessica have accomplished amazing things through their drive to perform and desire to entertain.

With the upbeat demeanor of a band who flat out enjoys being on stage, Jeff and Jessica set out to make the audience happy because it makes them happy. You can see their shared smiles as the audience buys into their philosophy – making people jam!

Band Members