Critics from one side of the Atlantic Ocean to the other can’t seem to stop talking about the collective works of Ajay Mathur and their impact on both mainstream and indie rock scenes around the world. Whether it be his cryptic but gripping lyrics or his knack for making killer hooks that are seared into our memory after only a single listen, Mathur’s art has been dissected and examined from practically every angle up until this point. I’m not sure whether or not he took all of this into account when he was writing and recording his latest record, the two track Little Boat, but in this new EP fans and music enthusiasts are treated to a different side of his personality that wasn’t nearly as visible in his earlier work. Contemplative yet very confident in himself and his prowess around the studio, Ajay Mathur has given us a pair of songs for the ages in this new release that is quickly becoming the most discussed EP of the entire year.
There are some critics who might say that a record only containing two songs could hardly convey an artist’s multidimensional sound, but “My Wallet is a House of Cards” and “Forget About Tomorrow” highlight the yin and yang of Ajay Mathur’s sonic palate so comprehensively that adding any additional tracks to this EP would have been a bit silly. You don’t need to load down a record with a lot of filler when you’ve got two songs as connective and sprawling as Little Boat does, and despite neither track running longer than four minutes it feels like we’re getting the most refined components of Mathur’s scope of musicality delivered to us in a sleekly designed suite. I’ve reviewed a lot of singles and EPs in 2018, more than most years I would like to add, and none of them were as vibrantly full of life and energy as this one is. Ajay Mathur reminds us with Little Boat that good things often come in small packages, and its success only further cements his status as an artist who doesn’t have to break the bank to generate timeless music.
Longtime fans are going to go crazy for Little Boat and the exciting array of new elements that Ajay Mathur is incorporating into his style, but I believe that this record – more than any other he’s released in the past – is going to attract a litany of new listeners to his discography. As someone who has been keeping up with Mathur’s career since the beginning, I can vouch for the staggering creative growth he’s experienced just by listening to either of the two songs in Little Boat, and calling this his slickest and most focused release to date simply doesn’t do it justice. He’s made a quantum leap since picking up his first Grammy nod for 2016’s “Nothing Really Matters,” and if this new EP gets the spotlight that it deserves from the pop establishment it’s a pretty safe bet that The Recording Academy will be knocking at his door once again within the next year.
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