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Matt Phillips & The Philharmonic / Press

“Check out Matt Phillips and The Philharmonic at Spazz Fest V, playing the opening night on Thursday, March 20 at The Tipsy Teapot. If you see Travis, ask him to tell you a joke, just not while he’s on stage.”

“8-hour practices through late March will lead to recording in early April. All songs are composed and arranged by Phillips. The album is due in summer 2013 and will be produced by Ian Schreier from Manifold Recording where Phillips interned after high school.”

“Hard not to love Matt Phillips & The Philharmonic”

“Their sound has been compared to groups such as Dave Matthews, a soulful pop sound with an essence of jazz. Not only is Phillips the front man and lead vocalist, but he writes as well. Their songs are stimulating and have that southern sound with an edgy flare.”

“Phillips is known for his lyrical and melodic work, and with the addition of solid band members and instruments, the result is something like pop meets big band. Catchy melodies and memorable lyrics are matched by horn and organ driven bridges and solos. Think John Mayer meets Duke Ellington...Overall, Move is a fun album that incorporates elements of jazz, folk, big band, and even ska into a base that is founded in pop. If you’re into the popular singer-songwriter scene and looking to branch out a bit, this is a great album to start with.”

“Perfection at its Greatest Matt Phillips and the Philharmonic's "Move" is frankly a spectacular album. Putting a genre to it is impossible, it is a sound just about everyone can enjoy. Little profanity, frankly none, a jazzy, yet calming, and upbeat sound, "Move" is on my morning playlists for waking up and showering, and also features itself in my playlists I listen to during class. I recommend everyone gives at least; "Transference", "Bluegrass", "Land Before Time", "Coffee", and "Olah" a listen, and you will fall in love instantly, with those songs and the whole album. Perfection. At. It's. Greatest.”

“(On 'Bluegrass') Songwriter Matt Phillips worked with producer Ian Schreier at Manifold Recording on this track. Phillips accompanies his thoughtful lyrics with an acoustic guitar, organ, horns and drums to create a peaceful tune. He even enlisted his Kickstarter supporters as background singers. Overall Matt Phillips and the Philharmonic’s whole album Move is a great pick-me-up for any day.”

“Musically, Phillips and the Philharmonic could not be more different than the acts that preceded them; power pop and punk bands who prefer crunchy guitars and driving rhythm to rock the crowd.Phillips and crew reflect the sweet, soulful side of Southern music. They revel and reinvent the conventional and feature horns, piano, and the traditional rock instruments: guitar, bass guitar and drums. On the surface, there appeared to be a misalignment of acts. Why close with this band? After seeing Phillips and The Philharmonic, that question was moot. Confident, charismatic and captivating, Matt Phillips and the Philharmonic really popped the top off the Tipsy last night...As an observer, it’s enthralling to see the reciprocation occurring between crowd and band. The two were clearly feeding off each other, and the subsequent positive energy was beyond palpable. The room oozed with it. You can’t manufacture that.”

““I love the atmosphere here and how the community comes together,” Bayog said, gesturing toward Phillips. “It really brings life to the area.” Since the summer of 2011, Phillips has been bringing his tunes to the corner of Columbia and East Franklin Streets, outside Spanky’s Restaurant and Bar. Phillips said he enjoys connecting with people through his music and has been warmly welcomed to Chapel Hill. Once, Phillips said a homeless man gave him a rare Yellow Submarine George Harrison pin from the 1960s. “That’s one of the things that stuck out to me as a not-so-normal gift but one that I’ll cherish,” Phillips said. “Sometimes a gift from a homeless person is a more meaningful gift when they don’t have as much to give.””

"It doesn't even really compare," Phillips says of Manifold versus the bedroom setups and small studios to which most 20-year-old songwriters are accustomed. "The biggest differences are working with Ian and the room itself. The building just has a presence that inspires great performance. I know bringing my guys into a place like this will give us a record that could put us on the map. Ian says it best: You can pay anybody $50 to stab you in the chest, but you're going to pay thousands to get open-heart surgery from someone who knows what they're doing."

“...this album is just amazing. I listened to it several times, and got more out of it each time. So musically mature, so un-self-conscious, so nuanced. I hear folk influences, jazz influences. The songs have that wonderful, elusive, organic quality, where they seem almost to have always been there, and to have been “discovered” by the artist, rather than precisely “written”. Wow. I think Matt will be famous. He is really a great talent. Congratulations!”

Dr. Dina Eisinger, family friend

“While he may be a small name now, Matt is currently about to release his EP entitled Bones, which he has posted to his SoundCloud account. So if you’ve never heard of Matt Phillips, I strongly suggest you check out his music and spread the word. He’s a great artist on the rise, and I strongly suggest you subscribe to his sounds.”

“Every band has its own strengths. For some, it may be the ability to deliver a passionate performance, while, for others, it may be a powerful voice. Still, some may find that their best musical attribute is their songwriting ability. For Matt Phillips and the Philharmonic, their strength comes in their creative musical sound. The band, which played last Saturday at the Tipsy Teapot, does a striking job in combining a vast array of musical instruments into a hip-swaying, jazzy, and somewhat of a big-band sound.”

"Get a chance to see Matt Phillips and the Philharmonic give a stellar performance at PIRATEFEST last week? This bands' strength comes in their creative musical sound and does a striking job in combining a vast array of musical instruments into a hip-swaying, jazzy, near big-band sound. And they're just getting started --they formed September 2011. Four of the five ECU students who make up the band are/were music majors, and this musical background shows in their ability to incorporate trumpet, saxophone, bass guitar, drums, harmonica, keyboard, and acoustic guitar into each of their songs. This symphonic mix of music gives them the ability to create different sounds for each of their songs. From competition-winning performances to album plans, Matt Phillips and the Philharmonic combines stellar songwriting, great vocals, and an ensemble of musicians into a unique band with a very bright future."

“Matt Phillips and the Philharmonic came all the way from Greenville to support Book Harvest. Here they sang, “Happy Birthday,” to Book Harvest and to Martin Luther King, Jr.”

“Y'all are the light at the end of this generation's musical tunnel.”

Joe Lally - ECU Student

“The video surprised me. A bit of confession is helpful here: when I'm listening to music or watching vids, I look at the duration and wonder if I can devote 100% of my attention, 4 minutes here, 6 minutes there. Answer: rarely. So I'm usually working in split screen with 2 partial windows. Maybe email or fb messages competing for attention in the other. I was a full 4 1/2 minutes into the video before it even occurred to me that I was FULLY engrossed in your song and the video. That speaks volumes. Good work, Matt & colleagues!”

Betsy Harris - Photographer, NC Music Critic

"I don't think I've ever met anyone who loves music as much as you love music."

Aaron Kelley, friend

"I like that boy on the show. Lets watch it again." (About the Little Frog Video)

3 Year Old Noli Trogdon

“Matt Phillips playing on Franklin Street (see video at 4:45)”

"Matt Phillips put it this way" (see video at 4:50)