2014’s Someday, The Moon Will Be Gold marked Kalle Mattson’s emergence as an alchemic songwriter.
Some of life’s most painful events need to be faced head-on in order to overcome their hold on you, while others are best dealt with by giving them a wide berth as you walk away from confrontations that will continually open old wounds. True growth and healing happen as we try and suss out when it’s best to fight or to flee.
For most of us, these struggles typically happen in private, but Kalle Mattson chose music as an expression of the repressed emotions and inner turmoil he went through after his mother’s death in 2007. The Ottawa-based singer-songwriter had a homecoming of sorts, returning to his childhood home in Sault Ste. Marie, where his story — and hers — painted itself across the blank canvas of songs that would go on to form 2014’s Someday, the Moon Will Be Gold.
The specific emotions and demons he had to work out are Mattson’s to know alone, but it is clear that he spent a great deal of time working them into these songs of hope, heartache, and, I hope for his sake, real healing. “I followed you darkness / into the feeling that I thought I’d know,” he confesses on the poignant “Darkness”, entering territory not easily understood or explained in song: “If I sing to you the feeling / It’s a strange truth and so hard to show.” Light and dark are elemental to the story of Someday, The Moon Will be Gold, woven into the lyrics and arrangements, casting shadows and dispelling the night. Cryptic, but yet so compellingly confessional, you can’t help but be drawn into speculating on the drama that inspired “The Living & The Dead” and “Hurt People Hurt People”.
For all the apparent pain of remembering, there’s a redemptive spirit on Someday, The Moon Will Be Gold. It’s an intangible quality that speaks to Mattson’s maturation, both spiritually and artistically. The record marked his first outing a solo artist (rather than frontman) and proved he was more than ready for the responsibility that entailed. The influence of his heroes shine through on the Springsteen-esque anthem “An American Dream”, but Someday, The Moon Will Be Gold remains an engaging showcase that marked Mattson’s emergence as an alchemic songwriting talent with the power to make art out of the most profound sorrow.