The Welcome Matt
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The Welcome Matt

San Francisco, California, United States | SELF

San Francisco, California, United States | SELF
Band Rock Singer/Songwriter

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name despite being around for many years and having numerous studio releases, the new album The Panhandle Years is a must investigation, especially if melodic yet feisty guitar indie rock is like an aural beacon for your senses. Consisting of eighteen tracks taken from the seven albums released by the band, it is a compilation to light up the appetite and fire up the heart, and an instant and not to be denied invitation to check out the releases spawning the songs making this album so enjoyable.
The Welcome Matt is the solo project of San Francisco based musician Matt Langlois, something which on the evidence of the compilation has been the source of rather impressive rock pop songs for quite a time. From 2009 to last year, Langlois spent all his concentration and time with the musical project, Members Of Sound. This involved releasing a new song every month for two years and resulted in two major CD releases from his work with an array of Bay Area musicians and producers. During that period Langlois also played around 200 gigs and made a video with singer/songwriter Megan Slankard. His bio says “My main objective was to maintain a creative state for a sustained period of time while chronicling the musician’s journey as I’ve seen it and known it.” As that statement and the songs on The Panhandle Years show he is an artist who puts his all physically and mentally into his music, the craft and emotive energy of songs an obvious clarity.
The album opens with the latest single Karma, a song which from its rhythmic teasing and mellow caresses takes no

time in capturing the imagination. The vocals harmonies lead the infectious chorus and stride of the song whilst the heated sonics of the guitar leave trails across the surface of the song like the rays of the sun. It is a wonderful piece of rock pop and an instant long term love affair for the heart such the delicious enterprise and beauty.
Without knowledge of the chronology to the tracks and their placing it has to be said the high quality and consistent irresistibility is immense across the tracks showing that Langlois has never been short on writing impressively imaginative songs and bringing them to the ear with great craft and invention. The likes of the dizzying I Will, with its shuffling stroll and melodic guitar flames, and the Kinks spiced On My Way a song which is just glorious in its rich melodic textures and mesmeric charm, just ignite stronger passion for the release, each irresistible pieces of well defined and stylish rock n roll.
The Panhandle Years also has a strong diversity across its songs which is as absorbing as the vibrant sounds they carry, songs like the Bolanesque What Are We Gonna Do, the excellent and quirky 12 Stone Toddler sounding Longing with its magnetic hooks, and the country folk/Brit pop fusion Into Your Own, as well as the rock driven Tremorland with its excellent raw surface, all leaving one basking in full pleasure from very individual stances.
It is also fair to say every track is a delight, a stirring slice of thrilling and senses charging joy but some certainly stand tall alongside Karma, On My Way, and Longing as the biggest triumphs. There is the brilliant Obstacle Ground, a storming and electric enticement with discord twanging guitars and swaggering bass lines to the fore and sounding like something akin to early Squeeze, as well as In San Francisco (Wake Me Up) with its lush melodies and big hearted energy to leave one soaked in imaginative elegance and contagious might. Arguably the greatest song on the album is Sing Something, though that choice changes from listen to listen to be fair. The track just bursts with energising textures and compulsive grooves, with the only result being adoration in its direction. It is a flawless pop song , insatiably catchy whilst full of unpredictable invention to leave one enthralled and inspired.
The Welcome Matt is a band all melodic rock and indie pop fans need to know about and The Panhandle Years easily the perfect introduction.
- RING MASTER


Matt Langlois has found the secret to truly personable songwriting, a fact evident throughout his band's latest release, Right Outside Your Door. Both lyrically and vocally, this fourth effort from the SF group is startlingly sincere, and instantly accessible.

Langlois is a storyteller at heart and emotes with a clarity and honesty that so many frontmen lack. The upbeat opener, "Longing" lays his signature vocals over a memorable, playful riff, while the superb "Painkillers" takes it slow. The offbeat cheeriness of "The Tipping Point" and catchy social commentary of "Politicians," too, round out the album's charm. "Normal Life," however, is the absolute standout, with a chorus evoking the Beatles circa Rubber Soul and verses all their own.

The precision in which The Welcome Matt presents both melody and sentiment is a rare find indeed, and this new release is more assuredly one to look into.
Garbrielle Goodbar - Theowlmag.com (Mar 18, 2009) - Owl Mag--Gabrielle Goodbar



Right Outside Your Door, by The Welcome Matt is an album that begs you to turn your radio up. The fourth release from bay-area frontman Matt Langlois is filled with enough melodic pop-rock material to warrant repeated hip-shaking. The music is dominated by overdriven power chords and a strong foot on the kick drum. The instrumentation and arrangements are lean but frenzied.

By now The Welcome Matt has shaken out any amateur bugs, and created a product that is refined and crafty. Matt has obviously worked hard to ensure that each song has its own character. You won't be tired of this one, by the end of the album.

The Welcome Matt's sound can be characterized as a little Ray Davies, a little Cake, and a little Supergrass. Each verse reminds me of the sounds of a particular alt-rock giant, yet each chorus is unmistakably Matt's creation. Every chorus breaks a little bit more ground and move a little further beyond the expectations of the typical rock anthem.

Let's face it. There are hundreds of talented rock musicians on the scene today that crank the gain, and overwhelm us with their chops. What sets The Welcome Matt above all those other bands is the ability to write a good song. This album has 13 good ones!
Chad Dukes - indiemusicstop.com - Chad Dukes indiemusicstop.com



So while Matt Langlois labors toward releasing his next album, he so thoughtfully has thrown us a tasty beef jerky prequel of Empire Days he dubs Coping Mechanisms to snack on. Thankfully, it has nearly all the Welcome Matt trademarks - the same somehow raw yet comfort-inducing friendliness, the Cake-style vocals with all of the humor, none of the sarcasm - but not all the trendy accessories; Coping Mechanisms is marked with fewer political references, and although still heavy on the Dagwood sandwich layers, feels a bit more stripped down.

It's been awhile since I listened to Empire Days, and I truly forgot the extent to which I enjoy Langlois' voice; it owns this rolling hills quality that enables him to slur his transitions from quiet to loud. Good thing too, as The Welcome Matt - in the traditions of Filter, Soundgarden, even Led Zeppelin - creates a heavy-melodic dualism that swings from calming to high energy with ease. Additionally, he piles guitar splices so thickly anyone's at a loss for origins. The album's best track, "I Will," is perfect testament to this.

There's the unforgivably catchy "Forgive Yourself" that manages to still maintain a raw breakdown even with that pop-a-licious sound. The layers build up again in "Kisses" - vocals, then guitar, then more and more guitar, and just as you think you might explode with sheer awe, it all dissolves into a single guitar breakdown ... also known as sheer genius. While we're genre-hopping, can I mention that The Welcome Matt even pulls out a crazy Black Sabbath vibe at times in "Weird Way." Finally - no, I didn't inventory ALL the songs - although acoustic, "The Duel" is rich acoustically, vocally, as well as lyrically melancholy-optimistic. Definitely a solid second place best-song-on-the-album. If you're not completely certain you're ready to hear this - or completely hungry - I'm not sure what else to say, except check out this master of audio layers.
Genevieve Will - indie-music.com - indiemusic.com Genevieve Will



It is a rare day I listen to an album over and over again but this happened when listening to The Welcome Matt "Empire Days". Produced by Matt Langlois and Matt Boudreau, songs written by Matt Langlois, with the cd artwork a magical story within itself. Lyric sheet not included but that makes you really listen. Mastering by Michael Romanowski. Recorded at Broken Radio - Emeryville, CA.

"Do you think you're getting closer to the middle of your heart?" begins an escapade of lyrical songwriting creativity with steady, pure, crisp production and performance by San Francisco's Matt Langlois of WelcomeMattMusic.com. Matt's storyteller voice inspires one to extend their attention span beyond 3 songs—16 total songs, sleuths of words and music . . . hints of John Lennon, Jeff Buckley, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and friends gathering in the living room. Matt's journey into "Empire Days" travels through moods of an intellectual pop, rock, blues and world beat "balanced" into a smooth groove laden cd. Soft styled voice of Matt's wakes up, emoting to the edge of passion in the sensitive "Rainwater" and "Love Too Much". Guitars, backing instruments are creatively mixed in each track - I was surprised at the spontaneous feel of a studio production - harmonies, layered fluidity . . . The Welcome Matt has tapped into something and I hope a lot more comes out. 16 Tracks of note - I recommend 5*****'s to this album - songs that linger: Chocolate Shooting Star, 110%; A Rise and Fall Part I (which continues with snippets throughtout the music), Obstacle Course, Empire Days, "What are we going Do?", Seed Song, Rainwater....Hey, that's the whole album.
Toni K. - Songsalive! Mar 18, 2005 - Songsalive Toni K



A beguiling, beautiful record that reminds me of one of the greatest records of the 90's, Grant Lee Buffalo's "Fuzzy," with its sleepy early Bowie melodies, lean but perfectly arranged instrumentation and hard-to-ignore sense of songwriting. While its wonderfulness is evident on the first listen, in its subsequent listens that a sense of greatness starts to seep in before your eyes, leaving a lasting impression. A record highly constructed yet simple. Highly recommended!!
- notlame.com (Mar 18, 2001) - Notlame.com


Discography

Matt Langlois -The Welcome Matt LP-2000
The Welcome Matt- Coping Mechanisms-LP 2002
The Welcome Matt-Empire Days-LP 2004
The Welcome Matt-Right Outside Your Door -LP 2007
The Welcome Matt- Ends and Odds- EP-2008

MEMBERS OF SOUND Vol 1- 2011
MEMBERS OF SOUND Vol-2 -2011

The Panhandle Years -2012 compilation CD

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Bio

an indie rock, folk singing, song writing, poet originally from New England turned longtime San Francisco resident. I’ve been wandering the earth, performing in endless cafés, bars, living rooms and clubs, living off my downloads, gig money and somehow surviving life in the San Francisco underground.
I’m still here creating and in many ways I’ve just begun.

I’ve put out seven WELCOME MATT CD’s, two with HEY BRONTOSAURUS.
In 2012 my first compilation CD was released, THE PANHANDLE YEARS featuring some of my favorite WELCOME MATT songs over the last decade, including the single “KARMA."
From 2009 to 2011, I was consumed with the musical project, MEMBERS OF SOUND, releasing a song a month for 2 years. The project started out as just another late night idea on tour in West Hollywood but ended up being an amazing 24 months that culminated in two major CD releases. During this time I worked with many Bay Area musicians and an array of producers on MEMBERS OF SOUND, who have worked with artists such as FOSTER THE PEOPLE, FOUR NON-BLONDS, DAN THE AUTOMATOR, TRAIN, THE COUNTING CROWS and GALACTIC.

I played some 200 gigs, recorded and filmed a video in one day for “YOU ARE THE CHORDS”. This project started and ended with sold out performances at San Francisco’s favorite hipster live music venue CAFÉ DU NORD. My main objective was to maintain a creative state for a sustained period of time while chronicling the musician’s journey as I’ve seen it and known it. I am lucky to have met so many cool, crazy and committed characters along the way… all because of music.

I’ve been fortunate to have had MEMBERS OF SOUND songs downloaded all over the world catching the attention of many, especially here locally including, Peter Finch’s “FOG FILES” on KFOG 104.5, San Francisco Bay Area’s biggest radio station. KFOG also put the MEMBERS OF SOUND song “THAT I CAN DO “ on their 2011 Music in Schools summer sampler. During this period I also collaborated with renowned Modern dance choreographer CHRISTINE CALI.

With her CALI & CO dance company, we created “MOVE THRU ME”, a 3-day dance/music performance in San Francisco’s Dance Mission Theatre (Feb 11’) and YES ! a Members of Sound song, “MOVE THRU ME” was created with a dance/music video choreographed by Cali.

I’ll be on the road on in 2013, with shows up and down the West Coast also, crossing the country in the fall supporting my 2013 release.