‘A beautiful, dulcet reminder that everyone around us has issues too’.
Marking the release of her recent EP, West-London based singer-songwriter Matilda Mann wrote on Instagram that the reason why she called this collection of 6 songs ‘Sonder’ was to remind us “that the people around you have a life as big as your own. No less, no more. We should keep it in mind, cause you never know what someone’s going through.” Throughout the EP, Mann invites us to view the world through her songs, lyrically depicting intimate moments as well as relatable verses dedicated to those loved and lost.
The effortlessness of her voice gliding through each track, paired with her knack for storytelling, exposes a feeling of familiarity within her music. This feeling is not one that renders her music ordinary, but one that allows us to sense we are experiencing each moment she describes together, a true talent as an artist.
Although her songs have a folk/indie feel, Mann avoids any attempt to limit herself to one genre, purely writing from the heart. In ‘Doomsday,’ she mixes humorous and innocent lyrics about running away to get married, with melancholic, resonant melodies; “I found us some rings / Unfortunately, though, they’re just sweets that I kept from last Halloween.” Talking to 1883 Magazine, Mann explains that though this track started off sad, written during the pandemic (hence the name), it turned into a romantic one, “a song you could dance to with your partner, knowing that everything was okay cause they were there.” Although the lyrics portray a future which is unclear, they also depict two star-crossed lovers bound within this uncertainty; “Before the world is doomed / I hope I get to say that it was always you.”
‘My Point of You’ opens with a sweet strumming pattern on guitar, maintaining a simplistic sound throughout the track. In contrast to ‘Doomsday,’ ‘My Point of You’ portrays a relationship which needed to end; the song describes losing your sense of self to someone and getting that back once they’ve left; “And I’m not fazed by a different view / ‘Cause it’s me who’s coming back, not you.”
Mann retains her witty, individual lyrics throughout, for example “Think I’ll go and catch that movie that you said you’d know I hate / And I’ll get five bags of popcorn, just enough to compensate,” allowing the narrative to show a separation from the person they became when tied up within a previous relationship.
‘February’ expands on this message, lyricising how sometimes it’s best to end something which wasn’t working; ‘We tried to make it work / Pretend it didn’t hurt this time / But you just won’t confess / That this is for the best, I’m right.” Ending on a chord which sounds like it should resolve itself to the tonic, leaving us feeling the song is incomplete, Mann portrays musically that some things must come to an end, even if they feel unfinished.
On the final track of the album, ‘Glass Ceilings,’ Mann sings “If we’re all insane, then maybe you’re the one to blame.” Mann has told us multiple stories throughout this EP, with lyrics which almost anyone can find relatability to. ‘Glass Ceilings’ is a fitting ending, one which reminds everyone to actually act on who you say you are, and stand up for what you believe in, not just “talk the talk, rehearsing lines,” as Mann lyricises.
Although only 21, Mann has created something quite special with this album, showing musical maturity beyond her years. Following a sold-out show at London Lafayette on October 6, it seems Mann’s career is only just beginning; the future looks bright for this poetically capable artist.
Words: Taylor Ehrlich