Review: Matchess – Sacracorpa (Trouble in Mind, Jul 27)

Matchess, also known as composer and singer Whitney Johnson, has created a reserved yet deceptively powerful album with SacracorpaShe layers her delicate, hazy vocals over minimal electronic percussion and sweeping synthesizers, yielding a sweetly hypnotic effect; from the very first minutes the music gently takes your hand and leads you on a peaceful journey through the clouds. Despite its dreamlike blissfulness and immersion, Sacracorpa is more sparse than lush. Every single one of the few elements that are present feels necessary and important, from the soft pulses of rhythm to the new-agey synths and even occasional nature recordings, and this purposeful simplicity is what makes the music so profoundly intimate. Johnson describes the music as being “dedicated to the healing love of women,” and though I and many other listeners may not be women it is impossible not to feel the love she has so reverently embedded within it. Sacracorpa is modest, wispy, even reticent, but it’s also one of the most emotionally resonant records I have encountered this year. Every listen is like a warm hug from a special someone, a bundle of comforters after a long walk through snow… it’s been a long time since music has brought me this particular type of happiness.