By Leslie Lindsay (image source: www.alphabetart.com on 9.4.13)
When it comes to priorites, you could say Matt Wertz has them; he’s pretty driven. You could also say the guy can belt out some tunes, resulting in a fantastic melding of melodies ripe for this era. His new album, HEATWAVE was released yesterday, August 27th. You may say Mother Nature was on his side. Seems the nation is being swept with a heatwave–whether that is the acid-washed, jangly pop sounds of his new album, or the actual searing heat, but it’s fair to say the two events are a trippy coincidence.
With tracks like Shine and Sunny Day, you may think Matt was channeling the giant star in the sky, but in reality the album isn’t inspired by any one event, person, or theme, but rather a general sound he was shooting for–that of the late 1980’s. Think Richard Marx and Bryan Adams. Think boom boxes (hey–weren’t those once called ghetto-blasters) and lace. Matt admits that to get the sound he wanted he had to change the way he wrote songs, which was bit challenging. But the sound–and the feeling–these tracks evoke are positively epic.
Although I did reach out to Matt to provide a little piece on defining home, he graciously declined. “Practice for tour is really eating up at lot of time, plus there are a slew of publicity events…” all of which I can completely appreciate.
But I can tell you this: Matt Wertz likes his Tennessean home, a 1920s-era bungalow where he’s lived for the last twelve years writing, practicing, and entertaining. In fact, there are several YouTube videos showing Matt doing just that (I adore the friendly banter between band-mates, and the acoustic sound is fantastic). Take a peek into his life: the mindless ring game on the front porch (Matt indicates this is his favorite place to unwind and let the new lyrics and sounds percolate–it’s also where he wrote new track, “Get to You”). You’ll also glimpse the bike riding, the coffee gulping, and a peek at his ever-growing shoe collection in these videos. (He once wanted to design shoes for Nike). www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsI6SmMwUnk
But there’s more: be sure to read this Trib article from years past–same house, same musician, another little look inside the place he calls “home.” http://www.chicagotribune.com/classified/realestate/chi-matt-wertz-snoop-1012oct12,0,3258691.story
In the meantime, be sure to pick up a copy of HEATWAVE, pop it in your computer, iPod, or cassette player (yes, there is a cassettee version) and see what writing inspiration you get from this number–I assure you, it’s a throw-back, and a good one at that!
So, Write on Wednesday!