Artist Reviews

Matt J Ward & The Rising Sons – Self-Titled (EP Review)

Written by Jackie Smith

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From the depths of the South Australian landscape comes Matt J Ward & The Rising Sons, the debut self-titled EP from a musician who has been compared to some of the genre’s best.


Matt J Ward

Matt J Ward & The Rising Sons’ debut EP is out now. Click above to get your copy. (Image Courtesy of KrisKat Publicity)


While Ward has been fronting local bands such as Where’s The Smoke and Battle of Flowers for a number of years, this is his first solo endeavour, and it’s not hard to see why he’s receiving high praise.

There’s a folksy edge to Ward’s voice that you don’t hear in the commercial country-pop songs designed to sit alongside the likes of Beyonce and Selena Gomez. These are storyteller tracks that will find fans in those who like their music with a bit more lyrical depth, an “adult alternative” sound like that of Missy Higgins or Angus and Julia Stone.

From the first track to the fifth, Ward and his backing band are on point. Not Your Man shows a soft, almost shy side to the vocals, easing listeners into his music just as much as it engages them. Terlingua, with its upbeat sound and an awesome guitar solo, may be the so-called, “focus track” of the EP, but it is with Neil Young that I am most impressed.

With its carefully-crafted lyrics and clever musicianship, this wistful song really taps into my penchant for a slower song, and from there the EP just seems to get better. America follows that nostalgic refrain and is another ballad that definitely appeals, showcasing the seemingly faultlessness of Ward and his band.

Compared to previous tracks, Without You comes as a bit of a shock, and there’s no denying the honky-tonk roots that fostered its development. Though it’s not my personal favourite, it goes a long way to showcasing Ward’s versatility as an artist.

Overall, this is a fine debut from a musician of high promise. I will definitely be keeping my eye out for a full-length album in the (hopefully) not too distant future.


Matt J Ward

Click above to catch Matt J Ward on tour





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Jackie Smith

November 4th, 2016

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Jackie Smith

Jackie Smith is a freelance journalist and editor and proofreader based in Brisbane. Her career so far has seen her interview Australian music heavyweights including Brian Cadd, Glenn Shorrock, Grace Knight, Greedy Smith (Mental As Anything), Busby Marou and Stonefield, with articles appearing in Scenestr, Hush Hush Biz, AAA Backstage and cargoART Magazine. As well as having an eclectic taste in music, she enjoys theatre, literature, history, arts and culture. To see more of Jackie's work, follow her on

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