Portland-based and NYC raised Matt Katz pulls out all his arsenal as an accomplished producer, songwriter, singer & pianist on his latest EP ‘All them Princes Vol. II’. Part of a 3- part series, this latest instalment features the enigmatic and versatile artist flexing his chops through elegant, personal songs and stories. Katz weaves his way through vivid scenes and vignettes as a loving tribute to all the ‘princes’ in his life – whether they be ex-lovers, inspirational archetypes or even imaginary friends – there is a tender respect that is consistent throughout the recording. Never judging the characters and their choices, only observing and reflecting. All in all – it’s one hell of a queer fairytale!
The songs themselves are lush and thick with instrumentation. There is something new to discover in every listen. The horns, the strings, the pounding pianos – each touch masterfully punctuating the stories. The foot-stomping Caremilla echoes the best of Billy Joel with epic stadium-quality piano riffs. The soaring choruses on ‘I call Places’ reminisce of Rufus Wainwright with no holds barred (and a healthy dash of 90s pop soul). The breezy swagger of ‘Joshua of Mahopac’ contrasts with some intense and personal lyrics – it’s clear that Katz can see the best of a bad situation and isn’t afraid to have a chuckle at his younger self. Closing the song cycle with the stunning melody of ‘On a ship with no engineer’ leaves one feeling more ‘found’ than ‘lost’ after sailing off on a spectacular musical journey. Katz’s vocals lead the way and hit loud and clear where it matters most – the heart.
Review by Matthew Presidente