Anyone who knows me can tell you that, when it comes to music, I’m not picky. Chances are if it’s one the radio, it’s okay with me. That said, every now and then a song, album, or artist comes along that gets me totally hooked. Just a few months ago I had “Blank Space” and “Style” on replay, but now my tastes have gone a different direction.
Enter Mat Kearney, a Nashville-based singer/songwriter who you’ve probably heard through his 2006 hit single “Nothing Left to Loose.” And while that radio-friendly track has been going strong for almost a decade, the goldmine lies in Kearney’s lesser-known work. Calling himself a “documentary songwriter”, Kearney fully embraces the storytelling element of making music, and more often then not draws from his own experiences as inspiration. Case point: the emotional “Rochester” from 2011’s Young Love, which chronicles his family’s history with abuse.
But while Kearney definitely likes to toy with your heart strings, not all of his songs are such heavy-hitters. Instead, he is able to meld his hip-hop, pop, and folk music influences to create songs that are at once upbeat and fun but contain a provoking story underneath. “One Black Sheep”, a personal favorite of mine off his latest album JUST KIDS, does just that: it’s a catchy song with a pick-me-up sound, but it paints the picture of someone struggling with feeling different from everyone else.
So, it seems as if Mat Kearney will on repeat for me for a while yet. A few favorites at the top of the list? “Moving On” (JUST KIDS), “Ships in the Night” (Young Love), “Young Dumb and In Love” (Young Love), and “Can’t Break Her Fall” (Nothing Left to Loose).
Are there any artists you can’t get enough of? Be sure to share below.