The brainchild of singer-songwriter Matt Jarrett, A Starving Viking is described as a brand of “indie garage-folk”. Influenced by his exposure to John Denver and Neil Diamond as a child, the folk foundation was firmly laid. However, he became the stereotypical 90s band kid in love with grunge and metal during his teens – enter something completely alternative to folk. After navigating his way through life, he discovered the delicate line between the various genres and now we have A Starving Viking. A short biography, but you get the gist when it comes to musical influences. Not one to be pigeon-holed, Jarrett adds a contemporary edginess to the old-school rock and folk sounds.
Following his first album Semblance (released in 2019), Jarrett began turning the heads of critics across the globe with features on Americana UK and Indie Obsessive. Just before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, A Starving Viking was making waves but then “everything got weird”. A lack of confidence, faith and passion was experienced and, well, there was a pause. We’re happy to say Matt Jarrett has taken his foot off the brake and comes at us with his latest EP Milksop EP.
A combination of three vibrant songs, Jarrett fuses the folk sounds of yesteryear with contemporary indie-rock musings. Opening with ‘It’s Mine Now’, we are thrown into a kaleidoscopic soundscape, but with a simplistic stripped-back quality. A contradiction of terms, but then again, the single has a melodic arrangement that seems to hold you back and push you forward with its off-beat movements.
Showcasing his versatility, ‘It’s Mine Now’ transitions into the smoother, more upbeat track ‘The Hither Shore’. Toe-tapping vibes weave through this intriguing track as Jarrett gets you dancing. As much as the previous two tracks contrast each other in their starkness and vibrance, it is ‘Morality Play’ that really showcases Jarrett’s eclecticism. Bringing together the cheeriness of ‘The Hither Shore’ with the starkness of ‘It’s Mine Now’ has edgy innovativeness. As Jarrett says, Milksop EP is “…primarily a guy and a guitar, but these songs feel a bit different. Floating on the edge of some genre…”