Matt Westin release new album
Love songs are tailor made for lovers. Since the very beginning of civilization, musicians have been crafting music that is designed to nurture two hearts finding a connection within one another. The nature of love songs has never really changed, although the sound might have with the unpredictable trends and tastes of mankind over generations. In many ways, the same can be said for country music. Country music was created for, and by, patriots who had run out of words to convey their love and devotion to what America stands for and represents, both culturally and creatively. Living true to those roots, Matt Westin doesn’t shy away from bearing all of his heart and soul for the world to witness in Legacy, his new album out this summer, and in my opinion the results couldn’t be much more evocative or intriguing.
In a record that is both a testament to the American spirit and the sacred virtue of indie musicianship, Westin delivers what could easily be in contention for the best set of country songs released in the last year. From where I sit, the most attractive quality in his music isn’t his ability to tap into country’s most coveted harmonies and wield them like some sort of melodic weapon, but his knack for embracing all of the cherished parts of Americana that made country special in the first place. In this embrace he also manages to put a very modern, very here-and-now kind of a spin on the style, with the results bringing old school country/western music into the 21st century for the first time ever.
No one in Nashville is making as self-conscious music as Matt Westin is right now. “Don’t Feel the Rain,” “The Right Amount of Wrong,” “Too Many Mondays Not Enough Saturday Nights” and “The Road That Never Was” could all qualify as folk-rock songs if they were stripped of some of their statelier, angular guitar parts that separate them from the garage demos. “The Devil’s Door” is really the only song on Legacy that is straight up country as millennials have come to know the moniker, but even then, it’s hard to picture the song on anyone else’s record. The fact is that Westin is so significantly better, so rebelliously on his own path, that labels in general seem a bit trite and archaic for his particular style of play.
One thing that we can learn from Legacy and the universal acclaim from both fans and critics that it’s receiving right now is what mainstream country music is going to look, and sound like, in the next decade to come. Country isn’t going to be defined by the old guard, but by a new generation of artists who for the most part come from places other than the American south. For the first time in history, it looks like country music is actually going to reflect the melting pot that is the country it so proudly celebrates. I for one couldn’t be more excited and happy to see an artist like Matt Westin leading the charge as we push forward into the future as one collective people, united by a love of good music.