Sacred Hills EP is a short, sweet snapshot of the long and winding journey of a man named Matt Costa. The E.P. has four tracks; two unpolished (but superior) classics hidden in the middle surrounded on either end by more sing-along, bigger produced songs. In other words the intro/outro tracks are nice, but like a geode, the gems are in the middle.
The single and opener, “Good Times” is a large celebratory sound reminiscent of the The Beatles, with colorful horns and that happy folk-rock feel, but the lyrics are somber, speaking of a return to hard times…a return to truth, to “the man I once was.” Back to reality. Matt is clever here, offering an economically timely piece. Roundabout the second chorus you get this feeling of, “Aha! I see what you’re doing here!”
The second track, “Never Change”, is the stand-alone classic. It could have come from the past 80 years of music. The soundscape is reminiscent of Donovan or even an old Woody Guthrie ballad. Costa’s tired voice hinges on the feeling of a theme song or the ending credits to an old Western. It’s almost got a smirk to it though…actually the whole album does. While the album spins, especially during “Never Change,” you feel a satisfactory buzz and when it ends, you wish it hadn’t.