"a luminous follow-up" **** Rob Hughes, UNCUT
"Aided by his brilliant Ryan Adams-esque voice and emotive story-telling, Gibson has created a collection of songs with more depth than most full-length albums could dream of." For Folk's Sake
"Forest Fire is a well defined and masterfully arranged album with instant enjoyability and an enduring sound. Mat Gibson’s skill as a songscraftsman is what elevates this album from fine to sublime." 8/10 Oxford Music Blog
"A lament to hopelessness and futility; expansive and exploratory in equal measure." 7/10 Americana UK
'Forest Fire' was inspired by my final day in Quebec before returning home to the UK when the city was engulfed in smoke from raging forest fires north of the city. Although I admit selfishness in reading into such events from a personal perspective, the timing of the event struck a chord nonetheless, particularly as my future in the place I'd fallen in love with for its wild nature and beauty was literally up in flames.
Unconsciously absorbing its expansiveness, north-eastern Canada has had a massive impact on 'Forest Fire'. You're alerted to a larger space - somewhere spanning its forests, shores and the expanse of the North Atlantic. The limitations of being alone at Truck Studio with producer Rowland Prytherch (Danny & The Champions of the World, The Epstein) helped me to focus on doing only as much as the song requires in terms of instrumentation. Rowland applied his ink sparingly with only the slightest of overdubs (done mostly by myself) around a core live vocal and guitar take. Percussion is often just a floor tom and a tambourine whilst flashes of piano, harmonica, glockenspiel and slide guitar accent the doubled or harmonised vocals and flat-picked guitar where necessary.
I performed on the main stage at Truck Festival with band on Sunday July 24th, 2011 with the likes of Gruff Rhys, The Dreaming Spires, Caitlin Rose, The Duke & The King, Justin Townes Earle and more. I've also supported Israel Nash Gripka, Danny George Wilson, Caitlin Rose, Slow Down, Molasses, Richmond Fontaine and Treetop Flyers.
'Forest Fire' is out now on Clubhouse Records including the single 'Yonder Burning Trees' which is available for free download from matgibson.co.uk