22 year old Matt Batory (Twisted Oak) stems from West Milford, NJ. From writing songs and playing music since the age of 14, Matt has released his first project under the name of Twisted Oak titles “Cold Coffee and Half Smoked Cigarettes”. It is an acoustic book of his recent heartbreak and struggles. Matt gives it his all with this 5 track EP that seems as therapeutic as it is beautiful.
The first track “Back to Me” sets the tone for the project, Its soulful, its real, and it’s raw. Matt expresses to a loved one who got away that he is capable of “traveling on [his] own” but he’s grown to love the comfort of his companion. Everything seems better with her around and he wishes she would return to him. His lyricism is on display here as well as his melodic talents and inflection skills. A stand out example of his talents are at the 3 minute mark.
“And I don’t know if i could ever find the words to say
and i don’t’ know if i could ever make you want to stay
but no matter where you go
i’ll be waiting here at home
and when you’re out there on your own
there’s just one thing that you should know”
The title track, “Cold Coffee and Half Smoked Cigarettes” shows a parallel with substance reliance and codependency. His lost relationship has left him feeling like he was using her as crutch and needs to find happiness and love within himself before he can be the best possible him. The track leads you in softly and his voice is comforting and consistent. The emotion is transferred through his strings which is the best way to engage a listener with acoustic music, and something even experienced musicians struggle to accomplish. You feel every strum and every note and then the song abruptly concludes with a lot of energy and leaves you feeling breathless.
The final track is titled “Faith” stemming from the line “today is not that day/but I have faith in tomorrow” and while he struggles throughout the track to “speak his mind” and fears of running out of time, he tries to remain positive and hopeful of the future. The metaphor that closes the album is great as well. He equates “driving away” to moving on and he currently has no car. But MAYBE he can find a car to borrow and drive away. Today is not that day, but have faith in tomorrow and you’ll eventually find your way.
Considering this is a debut project, Matt Batory has exceeded any expectations that may have been set. His years of practice shows all throughout the project and he sounds like a seasoned veteran. “Cold Coffee and Half Smoked Cigarettes” is vulnerable, diverse, and very cohesive. Matts talent was showcased here and he has more to offer. Every track was personal to him giving us a beautiful telescope into his mind. You can listen to the project on Soundcloud or YouTube, and be sure to follow his socials @TwistedOakMusic.