This is the first time I have come across Ōtautahi-based singer/songwriter Deep Water Creek (Matthew Smith), but this single is taken from his forthcoming third album, so I obviously have some catching up to do. Recorded and mixed by Josh Logan at Loho studios, what we have here is a confident singer/songwriter very much in the classic Paul Simon style, and one where there has been a great deal of work undertaken in the arrangement which really makes this stand out. While based around Matthew’s vocals and his guitar picking, there is a great deal taking place which adds to the overall sound. Although never overpowering Matthew, there is a lovely plucked double bass, sympathetic percussion, lap steel, violin, piano and more. Their role in this is to elevate his vocals without ever taking over, and instead of a wall of sound everything is provided with the space it needs to that it shines without ever overlapping with anything else.

Less than three minutes in length, Matthew’s vocals invite us into his world (which was inspired by him finding a spider in a bucket of water outside the studio), and then we are wrapped the instrumentation and it feels far longer and more complex than the time allows, while also feeling timeless as it takes us on a journey. Think Paul Simon, but with a more country feel than his folk or pop efforts, with a complex and complicated arrangement, and you will realise this is one to discover.

Rating: 8/10