Fans of Rock and Americana laced with rock will be pleased to know that Matthew Mayfield has released a brand new album called “Gun Shy.” It’s full of soaring anthems, powerful songwriting, and in Matthew Mayfield himself – one of the best vocals in Indie music today.
The title track Gun Shy is fun, gritty, and a fantastic opening tune. Matthew’s trademark rasp and growly vocal lends itself to this pure, unadulterated rock song. The echo-style of the vocals on the verses is a nice nuance that adds a classic rock feel to an otherwise modern song.
Taking a step back from the volume and producing a wonderfully crafted songwriter gem, Our Winds is delicate when it needs to be and power when necessary. It really showcases Matthew’s truly compelling vocal tone and range. Lyrically, it’s beautifully picturesque.
S.H.a.M.E. within the first 10 seconds introduced itself as one of my favorites on the album. A telling story we’ve all known all too well – whether dealing with our own demons or loved someone with some. In this song, it’s alcoholism, but it could mean something for anyone. It’s a cry for help met with rich vocals, perfect syncopation, and poignant lyrics.
Fall Behind and Best of Me are two more rock songs full of great vocals, some very cool and unique rhythms (especially on Best of Me) and are great additions to an already stellar lineup.
Slowing things down, Broken Clocks begins and drives with the acoustic guitar – something we haven’t seen much of on the album thus far. It’s a beautiful folk-infused piece. In this still, solemn moment, the vocals and lyrics shine and inevitably heal. What I mean by that is that moment when a song is just so beautiful that you can breathe just a little easier for those few moments in time. This is one of those songs – truly gorgeous. The addition of steel guitar and accordion also add some country whimsy. Don’t know if that’s a thing, but I’m making it a thing.
Keep My Distance carries us higher still, moving us back up to the mountain top. (Ok, it’s another rock song. And a good one.) Blackballed (awesome title aside) is dirty in the best of ways. Bluesy and dark with some really fun guitar on the verses.
Table for One is another wonderful folk-inspired melody with the steel guitar and wonderfully charming female harmonies. This really breaks up a lot of monotony and adds something yet unseen.
When the Walls Break is… well… a perfect song. I’m sorry, but it is. It’s dark, mysterious, grueling, and the ethereal undertones held throughout the song by the synth are something quite magnificent. Leading into the chorus, the vocals intensify, the music crescendos, and when the “la-las” of the voices begin on the chorus mirrored by the guitar and drums, it’s something poetic and terrifying. This is a great song for TV or Film! I’d love to experience this song live, too. I think it would be something truly inspiring.
The finale of Simple is nothing of the sort. Nuanced both vocally with rich harmonies and lyrics, the addition of the strings is something new to this journey and it’s really, really lovely. It’s melancholic and charming at the same time. It’s the perfect ending to an excellent album.