Album Review: Matt Corby – Rainbow Valley

Matt Corby has again teamed up with Dann Hume for his new album Rainbow Valley, which is named after the property Corby and his family live in (having been named by the previous owner). Rainbow Valley takes us on a psychedelic and soulful journey through Corby’s new found influences after becoming a father. Where previous record Telluric had a more melancholic feel, Rainbow Valley is far more joyful and joyous to listen to. Having released three singles from the album, listeners have had an opportunity to hear the new direction of Corby’s songs. From the dreamlike psychedelic vibes of No Ordinary Life to the simple piano driven ballad All Fired Up, to the final taster before the album as whole is released, All That I See, with its lush layers of instrumentation and funky feels.

Inviting the listener into the album, Corby eases you in with Light My Dart Up (dart being Australia slang for cigarette). With a vocal range that many singers would be envious of, Corby is able to be his own gospel choir and the harmonious offering here warms you up for what is about to come.

Lead single, No Ordinary Life, a song inspired by Willy Wonka, utilises the magical and ofttimes ethereal sound that Corby is able to produce. His musical talent enables him to experiment throughout production to find the soundscape that fits each song. Playing all the instruments on the album gave Corby and Hume the freedom to experiment until the songs clicked into place through the production.

The soulful vocals from Corby give the record a feel of Marvin Gaye, especially true on Get With The Times which was co-written with Alex Henriksson. Henriksson and Corby spent time jamming before the album recording began, where they were able to experiment with different sounds and feels for creative direction. Corby says of Henriksson “We hang out and try all kinds of stuff until we find something that we can grow to sound good, and because we know each other so well, we can push the boundaries a lot with those ideas.” This creative partnership has clearly enabled an interesting direction change, bolstered by the relationship between Corby and Hume, the album is all the stronger for having a limited amount of collaborators.

The title track transports you once again into the dreamlike existence Corby has woven throughout the record. With the combination of soulful harmonies and a simple groove it’s hard to work out exactly how the previous 40 minutes have disappeared so easily. And it’s definitely easy to lose yourself again and again in Rainbow Valley, as it closes out with birdsong.

With five EPs plus his debut album Telluric behind him, Rainbow Valley has a far more natural and comfortable feel to it. Despite the varying styles of music, the songs fit together as a warm journey through Corby’s contented world.

Ulrike Gotts