Tearjerker From Gambles

Gambles-Far From Your Arms-EP-COVER-highresMatthew Siskin, and his musical project known as Gambles, has been on our minds over the last year with the release of his stellar EP Far From Your Mind.  With that EP already under his belt, Siskin is returning later this year with a highly anticipated full length LP entitled Trust.  To get us even more amped up for that release, new song “So I Cry Out” has been made available as a new single.  My description as a tearjerker will immediately become apparent after you give the track a few spins.  Sheer Beauty.

New album Trust will be out October 1st via GMBLS.

Gambles – Far From Your Arms

Gambles-Far From Your Arms-EP-COVER-highres

Rating: ★★★★ ·

For the last year or so, the name of Matthew Siskin, and his Gambles project, has been on many a writer’s lips, or pens, or keyboards.  After spending several days holed up with his short Far From Your Arms EP, it’s clear to me that all his accolades and interest are warranted.  His EP is intimately moving, touching every corner of my oft darkened soul, awakening the spirit and faith in music/art once again.

“Trust” begins with a slow strumming, with Siskin’s voice wavering just atop.  At points, he seems to struggle, though not in a manner that turns people away.  Rather, I’ve been drawn closer into his sound, listening for every slight crack or every tarnished note, all reverberating a purity in songwriting that I’ve missed a lot lately.  While the pacing of the strumming provides a sensation of solemnity, he picks things up slightly moving forward.

His strumming of his acoustic takes a heavier-handed turn on “Safe Side,” though he alternates between that punchier strumming technique to quieted careful note picking.  But, when it’s loud, the sound is emphatic, yet his vocals turn intimate when he brings things to a hush.  He’s speaking to someone, or a character he knows, switching from a personal perspective to more of an omniscient thinker.  The closing whistle is an added touch of beauty.

Skipping ahead to the EP’s title track you’ll find what I consider one of the best two songs written this year.  “Far From Your Arms” is the perfect bit of modern folk music, both in its sonic approach and its emotional pull. As Matthew’s voice rises, ever so slightly, one can picture himself listening carefully in a smoke-filled pint-size room, holding your breath as every note is played.  Perhaps the song’s about a journey home, or the distance that divides us all, but regardless, it encapsulates everything I’ve ever dreamed of hearing. I imagine this song will play in my head and heart for some time.

What amazes me about listening to Far From Your Arms is how much I feel the impact and weight of the songs within.  Admittedly, I consume a lot of music, and it takes a lot for something to really really hit home.  But, in five short songs, Gambles has achieved that feat, with both the poetry in his lyrical content and the emotional pull of every chord.  This is a must listen for anyone.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/04-Far-From-Your-Arms.mp3]

 

More New Music from Gambles

653I know this song comes with an extremely sad story, but I think just the fact that it was written demonstrates that Matthew Siskin, aka Gambles, is more than just some sad troubadour writing great songs.  He’s got an emotional/political spirit, reminding me that there’s so much more that music seems to have moved away from.  I like the fact that it’s mostly Siskin’s voice, with a lightly strummed guitar and a few piano chords quieted in the background; that voice is so striking it will continue to haunt me for years.  You won’t see this on any release I’m sure, but you can check out the lyrics and a brief post from Matthew HERE.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/A-song-for-Jeff-Bauman-Jr.mp3]

Download: Gambles – A Song for Jeff Bauman Jr [MP3]

Sad Bastard Perfection from Gambles

653Rarely do I get overwhelmed by a track.  Sure, an album can do it, but a song’s got to be pretty incredible in order to floor me from the first listen.  That being said, I think one of the best songs I’ve heard this year is the latest single that’s been floating around from Gambles.  The man behind the music, Matthew Siskin, will be releasing the Far From Your Arms EP on May 7th, and the title track is  a must have in your daily listening rotation. There’s something about the frailty in the vocal, pushed to the front by the soft guitar strumming; it all creates this emotion that’s hard to put into words, other than the fact that it creates musical chills. Listen to this song again and again.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/3.-Far-From-Your-Arms.mp3]

Download: Gambles – Far From Your Arms [MP3]

Strummed Balladry from Gambles

653I’m a sucker for a man and his guitar, and that’s exactly what Matthew Siskin and his project Gambles has given me.  Not only that, but I’m really enjoying his knack for word wizardry.  Very few people can come across as affecting and honest as Siskin does in this new single, and my only complaint is there isn’t more to absorb.  Even scrolling through his web site, I can’t help but be drawn to the aesthetic he’s putting forward.  A bit of craft and poetry, and possibly a bit of hidden mystery.  Sounds like it’s right up my alley, so I can’t wait to see him in February here in Austin.