Convenience, the latest offering from local indie-popster Matthew Shaw, could easily draw a handful of comparisons to his emotion-pouring peers (hello, Conor). He draws upon the influence of Bright Eyes' emotive vocal stylings, Dntel's hooky electronics, and Dolour's pop sensibilities to create a likeable EP saturated with voice and vision.
Opening with "The Drunk," a quasi-downer of a song with an upbeat and peppy synth, Shaw bellows out, "This apartment’s lifeless. It’s walls reflect loneliness." Various beeps, boops and blips that come across as rejected 8-bit video game sounds accentuate most of Convenience’s songs. The synthesized noises aren’t painting videogame soundscapes in the happy and quirky Beck manner. Instead, these ardent noises portray raw emotions and feelings.
Shaw’s brutal honesty on "Quicksand," the EP’s third track, nearly catches listeners off guard as he declares "Today I figured out that I am the asshole that plagues your life," at the song’s opening. His lyrical vulnerability and the evident care he takes in craftsmanship of his songs make this an exceptional release and hopefully he’ll release an LP in the near future. Clocking in at a mere five songs and under 20 minutes in length and taken as a whole, Convenience does exactly what an EP is designed to do: It succinctly showcases Shaw’s songwriting strengths, leaving listeners longing for a follow-up full-length.