By: Garrett Bethmann
After this week, I just want to turn the world off, pull the blinds down real low in my mind and quietly recharge to Matt Lovell’s “Alligator Lilly.”
For how long? This lifetime and the one after, at least? Even that might not be long enough. Once you’ve felt the cool water of “Alligator Lilly’s” melody lap up against your toes and you’ve felt the sensual tug of Lovell’s soft, magnetic voice tease you to go a little deeper from the shallows, it’s hard not to just go out and … slide under.
“I could go in slowly, but I’m hungry for a dive/ Come down to the water,” says Lovell, as he entices you like a coy, bayou siren. His voice is calm and inviting as it wades through the acoustic, finger-picked melody, though its power can send flutters down your spine when it rises to angelic wails. Keyboard notes drop like rain on the water, sending light ripples of psychedelia throughout the sensual sway of the verses, a deft sonic touch that few could pull off as well as Lovell. Enchanting with subtle grace, “Alligator Lily” is a potent dose of escapism in this locked down world.
It’s another impressive single from the Nashville songwriter in the lead-up to his debut LP Nobody Cries Today, which is to be released on June 5th. Previous single “90 Proof” was released back in February and pleasantly evokes the lushness of Ray LaMontagne. All the more impressive is that Lovell is here to release the music. The musician miraculously survived a gunshot to the chest back in January 2017 during a carjacking. He recorded most of the songs on his debut before the attack and he had to shelve his musical aspirations as he dealt with the fallout of such a traumatic event.
“For months, my entire consciousness felt as if it had been turned upside down, and I couldn’t find a way to articulate the horrors I was experiencing. This kind of trauma is a knot you can only untangle with slow and patient work, and with the help of saints,” said Lovell in a statement about the album.
Thankfully, after much time spent healing his wounds, Lovell was able to recover. We can be appreciative of the fact we still have Matt Lovell with us and Nobody Cries Today can be the salve to someone’s pain and suffering. For the world, which seems all the more confusing and scary right now, certainly could use a little soothing from Matt Lovell and his gorgeous music.