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Born on the gulf coast of Mississippi into a family of Dixieland jazz musicians, it came as no surprise to many that Matthew Fountain made his way back to music after an extended absence. After picking up a guitar at age 9 and playing in metal bands through his early teens, Fountain spent his twenties instead focused on screenwriting before making the move out west in 2008 to reconnect with his musical roots and start a band in Portland, OR.

Matthew Fountain & The Whereabouts, featuring anywhere between three and eight of the singer’s friends as live accompaniment, have spent the past two years recording songs written by Fountain throughout the last decade, and Born On The Hook is the product of their labors.

Given the overlap in its conception with Fountain’s adventures in screenwriting, it’s no surprise that this eclectic nine-song set is unified by its theatricality. There’s a melancholy tone throughout the album: one that resonates with a common lyrical theme of being destroyed by what you love and being drawn towards your fears. Born On The Hook intelligently incorporates everything from a string quartet and Spanish-style guitar to drum machines and synth pads, and the production is supportive of the Dixieland-native’s grand ambitions.