Woodstock, NY-based indie-folk singer-songwriter Matthew Hayes Jacobs, better known as Sage of New England, has unveiled his mesmerizing and captivating new EP, titled ‘Encounter’. Collaborating with producer Justin Tracy, Sage of New England has crafted a truly unique sonic experience, blending intricate textures and lush production to create a rich and multifaceted sound that resonates with melancholy, as comparable to Sufjan Stevens as it is to some of the softer material of Radiohead.
The EP delves into profound themes of transformation and compassion, inviting listeners to explore the depths of the human experience. ‘Encounter’ effortlessly weaves together intertwining melodies, poetic songwriting, and a tapestry of acoustic guitars, subtle synths, strings, grounding bass, and shuffling drums across its five tracks. The result is a beautifully warm and strikingly beautiful musical backdrop that complements Sage of New England’s silky, melancholic vocals. The EP’s lo-fi boxy production adds a contrasting element to the cinematic nature of the instrumentation, creating a truly immersive and multi-dimensional listening experience.
Leading the EP release is the enchanting and whimsical opening track, ‘Encounter with a Guide’. The song takes listeners on a wondrous journey through Jacobs’ delicate falsetto vocals, guiding them through dreamy and breezy musical interludes. It serves as a prime example of Sage of New England’s ability to craft spellbinding soundscapes that transport listeners to ethereal realms.
Interestingly, the name “Sage of New England” originates from one of Matthew’s upcoming songs, scheduled for release in the fall of 2023. This particular composition tells the tale of a disillusioned woman in search of inner peace, finding solace in the guidance of an unexpected companion—a farmer she encounters after relocating to New England. Through this narrative, Sage of New England reminds us that wisdom can be discovered in the most unlikely places, encouraging us to embrace the transformative power of life’s encounters.
Sage of New England’s intention is to create music that resonates deeply, invoking introspection and inspiring personal growth. With ‘Encounter’, this talented solo artist invites audiences on an ethereal journey, showcasing his restless musical ideas and otherworldly songwriting. This EP marks another sparkling addition to Sage of New England’s growing alt-folk catalogue, solidifying his position as a exciting up and comer.
Speaking about the EP and new single, Matthew adds: “Encounter EP is an exploration of transformation, compassion, adventure, and walking the path of a mystic. It’s heavily influenced by my spiritual and mental health journey. I want to convey to the listeners what I have learned in my life. My intention with the music and lyrics is to do something that is meaningful, authentic, genuine and truthful, something our world needs. This EP aims to uplift and comfort while exploring these themes of wisdom.
Encounter with a Guide was inspired by a one on one meeting I had with a guru and the insights I gained from it. “It’s not too late”, one of the lyrics in this song, is a reminder that it’s never too late to transform, change your life, and do what you love. The door is always open.”