Matt Martians deserves more credit. That’s where I’ll start this off, already Grammy-nominated for his work with The Internet, well-acclaimed with his founding role in Odd Future, and praised for his production prowess with Jet Age of Tomorrow, Martians still deserves more credit. As a solo artist, Martians sits below 100,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, I’m not one for numbers and charts, but good music should be listened to. Maritans’ last release was a full-length project, The Last Party, which came out in 2019 and stayed on my playlists until, well, right now. I’ve been patiently waiting for some more solo work from the producer, keyboardist, and profound songwriter, and his recent full-length release, Going Normal gave me all I needed.
The LP settles in at only 21-minutes and 9 tracks long but the content and cohesiveness make it a more-than-impressive body of work. The record is an extension of Matt Martians’ signature blend of lo-fi neo-soul, funk, and just all-around quality. From the production to the writing, this record is as solid as they come. Thematically the record highlights concepts such as happiness, religion, the soul, time, and whatever else you may find yourself thinking about into the late night. What I love about Matt Martians stems from this, his ability to deliver a rather profound package of ideas with a nonchalant approach that still sounds amazing.
The highlights of the record for me are “Happiness Inside” and “God Said It’s Okay to Fall.” The former welcomes in spacey keys and a killer chorus reminiscent of a more trippy Stevie Wonder. I can’t refrain from highlighting the chorus in its entirety, “I hope I can find happiness inside / It all seems to get better / When I take my time.” Into the verse, this record continues to glide so sweetly. With any Matt Martians record, outstanding percussion is expected and this record is no exception. For the outro, Martian welcomes in a few more vocal layers to pronounce the chorus and lets a fresh bassline take it home. This track is amazing, take it in on a walk or a hike and feel the sunshine.
As for, “God Said It’s Okay to Fall,” we get a cinematic moment that perfectly captures its namesake. With swells of vocals and distorted vocals deeper in the mix, the experience of this record is like no other. Martians somehow create the sensation of falling with each chorus hit, a quick close of the eyes will send you directly into an auditory experience you probably haven’t felt before. At the halfway point the track transitions into an entirely different sound, a more groovy take complemented by phased vocals that cement the dynamic nature of the track.
I could give praise to each song on this record and it still wouldn’t do it justice. The auditory experience of this LP is one that can only be enjoyed through some quality headphones and with a relaxed mind. Matt Martians has done it once again, an outstanding solo showing that you should be sure to check out. Flip on a candle, take a walk, whatever it takes for a calm 21-minutes to truly take in another classic record from the young legend.