“Raven Hotel is a very accomplished collection of insightful song writing. Harlan rarely misses the bar with his wrangler poetry and lassoed prose.”
“Check in to the Raven Hotel and let these twelve shots of magic soothe your soul.”
“Houston-based singer-songwriter Matt Harlan isn’t one of those musicians who puts out an album every year...but you can bet that when one does finally show up, it’s worth the wait.”
“...it really does come down to the songs, and if others want to be taken seriously as Texas singer-songwriters, this is how good they have to be.”
“Matt’s tales are clear, the stories surface level and as real as the land that raised them up from snippets of conversation, newspaper headlines or general life in the great state of Texas.”
“By a clear mile, Raven Hotel is the finest song collection I’ve stumbled across this year -- in many a year, for that matter.”
"This is the kind of sharp observation and literate writing that make Harlan’s songs such a pleasure to listen to. Folky, but with a little Texas twang, Bow’s nine songs, most either written or co-written by Harlan, are brought to life by his gentle, expressive voice. They also benefit from the skilled backing of The Sentimentals, a Danish band with which Harlan has performed on both sides of the Atlantic."
"There’s a fluid self- confidence to his writing that at times comes close to matching early Dylan for a clear-eyed description of the world as he sees it."
“Matt Harlan’s “Bow and Be Simple” braces seamless storytelling with equal measures hope and hurt.”
“Harlan’s debut is a shining example of how honesty, skill and heart can be heard just as loudly as the next rocking ode to Shiner Bock surely will be.”
“Best debut solo album by a Texas bred singer-songwriter I've heard in many a year.”
“This is kind a classic four flowers album—Harlan writes very good songs, his voice is way better than most singer-songwriters, the production and musicianship are first-rate, in short, what’s not to like?”
“Harlan is, for our money, basically a young man's James McMurtry. His voice has that sultry, coarse drawl to it that allows him to say things like "Houston's heavy air" without sounding completely obnoxious.”