In the past few months, Mateus Asato – despite being in the midst of an indefinite Instagram hiatus – has slowly but surely been ramping up his content output. After appearing on Annalé's Goodbye, the neo-soul master then released his own song The Cure (opens in new tab), and covered both The Beatles’ In My Life and Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.
Now, the undisputed champion of quick-fire instrumental covers has returned with yet another dreamy six-string snippet: a blissful rendition of the Tears for Fears classic, Everybody Wants To Rule The World.
Asato is, as usual, on top form and, with a custom T-style GRS electric guitar in his lap – locked firmly into the bridge single-coil – he dives into his arsenal for some stellar alternate picking action and silky left-hand rolls.
A key feature of Asato’s playing has always been his ability to combine melody with rhythm: to instrumentalize a vocal part while ensuring none of the harmonic foundations underneath it become compromised.
It’s a skill few possess to his ability, and one that is on show for this new cover. The thumb ruthlessly beats away on the E string, while Asato combines both the lyrical line and the dedicated chordal exchange – yes, that’s three parts in one he’s playing.
Of course, there are some Asato-style embellishments there. Those chime-y harmonics at the start add a nice touch, as do the improvisational post-chorus flourishes – the open-string descents and double-stop slides are particular highlights.
With Asato content arriving at a considerably quicker pace, will we be seeing the neo-soul sorcerer return to social media sometime soon? Well, quite possibly. In an update issued with The Cure, Asato hinted that new music was indeed in the works.
“I don't want to be the one who keeps saying, ‘I can't wait to show my new music,’ or, ‘New album coming 2022,’" he said, "but I just want to say that I've been in a good place, happy with most of [the] things I've learned this past year.
“Keeping it up with the essence of 'why I make music' could be hard and it faces brutal vulnerability, especially during these weird season we live [in] now," Asato added. “But I feel great after this time off, and I hope my music could transmit that at its purest.”