Chattanooga musician Matt Green aspires to channel an unfiltered emotion through his work, a pure product of experience and DIY influence. And under the moniker of Lip Parade, he’s successfully created a sound that feels rough around the edges but imbued with monumental feeling, drawing upon the vast and broken noise of artists like Guided By Voices, The Mountain Goats and Elliott Smith. He’s not simply reworking these specific musical antecedents, though—he’s adapting the rhythmic blueprints they laid out to fit his own distinct perspective.
With an emotional voice that pushes against its own limitations, he evokes a sense of struggle and expressive identity when rummaging through some scraps of indie rock, singer-songwriter and folk histories. The lower fidelity actually gives his songs depth and character, where a more polished sound might smooth out all the wonderful wobbles and breaks. Green knows enough that a song doesn’t have to be filled with every idea that crosses his mind; they’re sustained as much by their creative brevity as by their lyrical introspection.
Recently, Green shared a re-worked version of a split EP that he did with former Chattanooga band Jim Shorts. Titled “Hymns of the Lesser Arcana,” this 5-track release is stripped bare of its previous skin, allowing the basic elements of its sound to rise to the surface. Now, the original songs were great, an experiment that Green says was allowed him to work with different mastering techniques, but in their current form, this skeletal representation offers a wholly different look into the process behind their creation.
Basically just Green and a guitar, this collection is intimate and sparse, a clever reinterpretation that gives him room to let these noises bloom and billow in the now-spacious atmosphere. The odd bit of percussion does show itself but is usually relegated to short bursts for effect. It’s as if he’s created a mixture of folk and ambient music, although there’s nothing remotely electronic about these songs. It’d all in the phrasing and arrangements. His voice stretches out while guitar strings are shaken and bent, and the resulting sound is captivating, hypnotic and utterly emotional.
Joshua Pickard covers local and national music, film and other aspects of pop culture. You can contact him on Facebook, Twitter or by email. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.