Mix Review of Vagabond by Vern Matz

It’s fitting that I’m following my mix review of TOLEDO’s Lovely single with a song that TOLEDO produced. Vern Matz released Vagabond, yesterday, a pensive song that really pulls me in. In many ways, I can hear TOLEDO’s influence and approach in this Vern Matz release, and I can’t help but write a quick mix review as I listen to it on repeat.

There’s a lot that I enjoy about this mix. At the beginning of the song, warm acoustic guitars playing the melody are panned hard left and right, with very light reverb to set them in place. Distant and luscious electric guitars and piano are drenched in ambient reverb, sitting behind the acoustic. Doubled vocals come in with a pronounced vocal plate and melancholic tones, singing:

“No sir, I don’t think that I’m sick.
But it seems to me there’s something wrong.
No sir, I don’t think there’s a fix.
But it seems to me there’s something wrong.”

At 1:30, the acoustic moves closer to the center, everything in the mix brightens, and twenty seconds later tight bass guitar and drums lock nicely together. Electric guitars melodies come to the forefront to carry the song to the end, and brighter acoustic layers take the rhythm. It’s the perfect ending that sonically brings resolution and a hopeful outlook.

It’s a very effective mix, and a contemplative song to soak in during these days of quarantine. Everything about this song is great! The Vern Matz and TOLEDO combination works very well, and I will gladly listen to more.

(Check out the band’s music video for Vagabond.)