van der Want Letcher

Matthew van der Want and Chris Letcher found each other in the dark recesses of Shifty Studio in the late nineties. Chris has contributed a batch of beautiful songs to the two albums by Urban Creep, one of Durban’s finest exports, Matthew has done a solo album at around the same time. Matthew wears his heart on his sleeve – you can literally trace his path in life across the two albums (three including his first solo album), from harsh songs of complacency and chemical imbalance to a begrudging resignation to home life. Chris remains cryptic, choosing to write around something than write straight at it, revealing his inner turmoil through a labyrinth of prose. Many reviewers have placed these two firmly amongst South Africa’s best singer-songwriters.

“Van der Want and Letcher combine on a complex work that could well be the local album of the year…a multifaceted work full of surprises, an amalgam of folk, rock and hip-hop with something of the attitude of punk.” Shaun de Waal, Mail & Guardian

“A depth of raw feeling runs through their work, interlaced with a seam of cool, dry intelligence. It’s this interplay of conflict and harmony between feeling and thought that shapes the album as a rich and mature work. It is enigmatic, mysterious, angry, sad, defiant, beautiful and unique. It goes down as a landmark South African recording…” Alex Sudheim,Personality

“Richer, deeper and darker than’Low Riding’, again these arrangements hang strongly on the guitar and vocal interplay. Enormously melodic with hooks that work their way easily into your grey matter. This is essential listening.” Ross Campbell, Openrecord

“Could easily be the best SA non-dance music album I’ve heard. Not this week, or this year, but ever.” NZ, SL magazine

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