I spend a lot of my time discussing artists that are based thousands of miles away from New England. Here we lack a prominent music scene and accessible venues as much of that resides in the cities – often not easily visited during the week. If you see the same people attending local Texas/Indie country shows, it becomes a little community that tends to keep in touch to link up at future shows. Something I never really thought about, was the local artists in my area that find influence in the very acts that I discuss. We obviously have a lot of Texas/Americana fans up here, so wouldn’t it make sense if some of those fans are artists themselves? Earlier in January I received a nice letter and physical CD from a local artist, Matt York who just happened to be from one town over from me. I decided to dig into his music and see what this local artist has to offer.
Upon first listen on Between The Bars, I could tell York’s music pulls from a variety of influences. I am still unsure how to classify it in any specific genre; which in fact, he told me this himself. There are a variety of styles here, from Americana/rock leaning songs such as All over the Town to the organ filled and soul based Honkytonk Hangover. While there are some listeners like myself that tend to enjoy one major genre (in my case country), others tend to enjoy all sorts of music. And there’s nothing wrong with that at all. Think of artists like Cody Jinks who openly enjoys heavy metal (remember, he played in a metal band!) and even Radney Foster who posted recently about listening to Kendrick Lamar. When it comes time to write a song, that influence from various genres can poke through and I believe that to be the case here. The result is that the finished product isn’t always easily defined into one specific genre, but it does make for an enjoyable and interesting listen.
The almost Bruce Springsteen-esq When the War Began has that 80s -90’s anthem rock flare with the amped-up dancing of the piano keys amidst the rock guitar riffs. Sonically, I found it to be one of my favorites on the album and allowed York to show of some of his powerful vocal bite. I found myself relating to this song a good deal after having been in a toxic relationship myself. The mind games and bizarre behavior begin to feel all too normal if you don’t get a breath of fresh air and wake the hell up.
York also spends some time on those of us that find ourselves a bit lonely in life and maybe lacking a partner or even friends. On My Own is paired to a music video that focuses on a birthday party and the adults that find themselves lacking the focus on the present. Almost everyone at some time or another, will find themselves feeling a bit lonely, even in a crowded room amongst friends and family. Social media has contributed to an increase in these feelings as people tend to seek out more online based interactions and validation – essentially ignoring all the real interaction between them. Whether or not it was York’s intention to draw attention to such a reality, I could not help but draw that conclusion myself. Our society is heading towards a dark place in this regard and being self-aware of finding the positives in life, will yield a happier and more fulfilling life.
I will have to make a point to check out Matt York locally at some time this year. He’s been featured by a local DJ here for Country 102.5, Carolyn Kruse, so make sure to check out his feature on her Local Catch segment below. He’s got an interesting sound that I think a lot of my readers would enjoy and get a chance to hear some of OUR locally brewed artists.
Also as a side note... some upcoming artists should take a look at Matt's Website. This has to be one of the most up-to-date indie artists websites I have yet to see. It's often a neglected piece of marketing but I noticed Matt's was far from that. Very well done!
Just a Massachusetts guy supporting Texas and other independent country/Americana artists.
Check out my spotify for good tunes!