Musicians have countless reasons for taking a while to release an album. Few musicians have a story like Matt Lovell to explain the delay of a release. His new album Nobody Cries Today was recorded in 2016. Then in January 2017, Lovell was carjacked and shot in the chest. With the help of a bartender who had just finished an EMT program, he survived. Not surprisingly, it took a few years to get past the trauma of an experience like that before he could release the album that he finished so many years ago.
The time is now right for Lovell to share his songs with the world, and you’ll be glad for that. He sings in a soulful voice and does a great job conveying messages of both heartache and hope.
If you like a good heartache song, “90 Proof” is a song that will hook you from the first line, “I’ve been trying to lose your number, but my fingers won’t forget.” The lyrics are straight out of a honky-tonk song. Only this isn’t a honky-tonk song. It’s more of a soulful acoustic song – the kind you’d hear at a small cafe where the singer stands and plays in in a corner of the room.
With minimal instrumentation, Lovell keeps things interesting by featuring strings in some songs and organ in others. Then comes “Alligator Lilly.” This song is propelled by the upright bass and the vocals. It also features some percussion that doesn’t maintain any sort of regular beat. The overall feeling of this song is something like if The Wood Brothers performed beat poetry.
Soul is a thread that runs throughout the album, but perhaps the best example of it is in “Be Free.” The organ would fit just as well in a 60s song or in a church service. Meanwhile, Lovell’s lyrics seem to be a nod to singers like Sam Cooke. “Out of all the things I want, it’s the thing that can’t be bought that I need. So somebody tell me when we gon’ be free?”
This album is really a display of songwriting. Lovell writes and sings songs that easily put him on the same plane with Ray LaMontagne. He can deliver a coffeeshop song just as easily as he can deliver a honky-tonk song without the twang. It just goes to show that the sound of the song is not as important as the emotion it evokes. And make no mistake. You can’t help but feel something when you hear the lyrics in these songs. Nobody Cries Today will be available everywhere on June 19. Order your copy here. (https://www.mattlovellmusic.com/)