Review: Daudi Matsiko – An Introduction to Failure

An Introduction to Failure is the somewhat cynically titled debut album from Daudi Matsiko – an new and upcoming folk singer songwriter who has arrived on the music scene with a beautifully produced piece of work, consisting of eight simple yet impeccable tracks. This new album combines Daudi’s first two self-released EPs ‘A Brief Introduction’ (2014) and ‘The Lingering Effects of Disconnection’ (2015) and  is well worth a listen.

The listener is introduced to the album through Daudi’s crisp, finger-picking guitar work in the first track ‘Home’. The second the vocals begin, it is evident that the soft, plucky guitar pattern pairs perfectly with Daudi’s wispy voice and poetic lyrics, making you want to carry on listening. In spite of starting of very mellow, the track gradually builds into something truly special. When the bass kicks in towards the end, Daudi’s haunting voice complements the shift in tone to produce a dark and dramatic finish that mirrors his emotion by raising the volume.  

Other tracks such as ‘You Can Do Better Than Me, But I Hope You Don’t’, ‘Okay, Since We’re Being Honest’ and ‘Take Me Old’ convey some of Daudi’s raw and genuine autobiographical lyrics, that in places, are painfully honest and self- deprecating, such as – ‘But I’m a rotten tooth in a mouth full of crooked teeth’. It is in his songs that you can really hear Daudi’s passion through his voice which quivers with emotion on certain words and makes this an album that has the potential to truly connect with the listener.

This is enhanced by the quality of the recordings which make Daudi’s tracks appear intimate and atmospheric, while still sounding crisp and clear, but with a live gig venue element to their sound – which is apparent when you listen to the soothing ‘Houston In The Blind’, melancholic ‘This Day’, and delicate ‘Spilt Milk’. Earmilk has previously described the track ‘Sandwiches’ as a ‘beautiful instance of hushed, dark folk’ which I believe could also be an accurate description of the album as a whole. Daudi masterfully utilizes his hypnotic guitar picking skills and enchanting vocals, to produce a simplistic but magical debut.

Megan Wood

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