The Volunteers

If there’s anything like a “godfather of emo,” few figures would have a more legitimate claim to that title than local product Jonah Matranga, whose work in the now-defunct early-1990s band Far helped define that genre. Not that that has anything to do with this keenly produced collection of songs about love and loss, except to say that Matranga has matured into a fine singer-songwriter on this big-sounding disc. Oh, and The Volunteers is one of the sweeter “it’s 3 a.m., and I can’t sleep because my heart is breaking, and I need to listen to something that will make me feel OK” records you’ll run across. As with his earlier efforts, listening to this is like peering into Matranga’s personal journal, from quiet numbers like “Over It” and “Stay” to anthems like “We Had a Deal.” A real leap forward.