2020 was just one tragedy after another for us all, but Mathew Weitman’s year was especially trying. He comes to terms with and expels the demons of the last 12 months with earnest on his first full-length LP, Grief Museum.
Going by the name Hotels on Mars, Weitman takes the pain and trauma of things like the pandemic, breakups and the death of a friend, and processes them through acerbic lyrics and a stoned country twang.
While many 2020-themed albums have so far come off as lazy or as a novelty, Grief Museum stands apart due to its bluntly honest songs about handling and growing past sorrow and loss. These themes live far outside our contemporary issues, and are more about the human experience itself. In 20 years, this record will still feel as fresh and accessible as ever.
Take for instance the achingly naked “(I Don’t Want to) Hurt Myself,” which explains how one feels while going through self-destructive behavior caused by depression. Sounding like a Matt Hollywood-penned Brian Jonestown Massacre track, this song could have come from any year and could be relatable to anyone going through any kind of a depressive period.
The album feels all the more personal with its lo-fi production, wry sense of humor and minimalistic instrumentation. Through this stark realism and general looseness, the entire record is rich with the atmosphere of a private sonic diary of the artist in his bedroom, much like the work of Elliott Smith, Guided by Voices and even John Lennon’s first solo record.
With a genuine universality that transcends time and culture, this LP is a perfect go-to for fans of the likes of David Berman, Bill Callahan and Sharon Van Etten. Get your copy from Weitman’s Bandcamp page today.