Matt Michaelis – Resolute
Matt Michaelis is an independent songwriter/producer that specializes in rock, blues, funk, and pop. His songs, as he says himself, primarily employ melodic riffs in the style of Led Zeppelin, the song structure and stylings of Trombone Shorty, lyrical concepts similar to-The Black Keys, and guitar work in the style of Gary Clark Jr. His debut album – Resolute, is available on all digital music platforms. This is an album he recorded with various singers, and did the rest of the instruments himself, except for also bringing in various drummers. Some of these songs have won awards, and others nominated as well.
The reason different singers were brought in for this album is because of voice problems Matt was having. The album kicks off with guest singer Rachel D Minyard lending her big chops to “How Long.” This is right out of Gary Clark Jr’s bag of killer blues rock stylings. It’s something that’s surely missing from the scene because his way of doing it is not only original, it’s something the industry can use a lot more of. This is an undeniably awesome song, and that’s putting it mildly. Matt Michaels and guests hit a home run with this hard rock/dirty blues opener to light the album’s way.
The next track, “Running From The Law” is a hard rock/electronica number, which completely changes things up, but not in a bad way. It’s just so much different from the opener it’s worth nothing that much at the outset. Not to mention this one employs the male vocals of one Rich Bischoff who also produced the album, so that is an obvious changing factor, but something the album is also full of. This track contains as much drama as the opener but in a less straightforward way. It’s a cool tune that takes warming up to but then things go up in tempo, which is a complimenting point about artist Matt Michaelis’ songs. This is an album highlight.
The guitar playing is one of the featuring instruments and Michealis is very clever at knowing just where to come in and bring the songs to life with it. There’s a cerebral vibe to these songs, but they don’t grab you that way at first because Michaelis knows how to write a song, by building it up instead of being one dimensional. “Bricks For Feet” is a funk/rock that which features female soul singer Naomi Arujuo, and it’s a very high energy number with Arujuo giving a clear nod to Otis Redding. This is only the third track but it’s one of the album highlights without question.
“Move On Out” featuring vocals by Quinn Brown is a different animal altogether, with a rockabilly vibe that verges on hard rock, but punk and garage rock are in there too, once again in a good way. This is another fantastic track, and one of the reasons it comes highly recommended. Another album highlight is “Weatherman” featuring Pat Voyer on vocals, which is one of the more modern tracks on offer. The album closes with the most enjoyable “Serenity, The Rabid Whale” with the album’s best guitar and keyboard parts, closing on a great note that make Resolute an excellent album and a must hear.
THE MAKING OF RESOLUTE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VP2xPtvdJ3I