Coming off with a vibe close to the first Jonny Polonsky record or the output from Daniel Johnston, Matthew Squires latest is bedroom pop at it’s best. The production, though cleaner on Squires album than the other examples, is minimal at best allowing for the songs to come across in the most organic, natural form possible.
It’s been just three years since his last release, but his knack for writing songs that manage to be seemingly both relatable and uniquely fantastical has improved immensely. The music vacillates between folk and psychedelic rock, at times recalling the Meat Puppets and Modest Mouse, but pop music always remains at the core of the songs here. Through his vulnerably emotive vocals and keen lyrics, Squires’ music is nearly impossible to ignore. Even his lighter fare, like the aptly titled “Joke Song,” comes across as a command from above. Elsewhere, his Hank Williams cover of “Lonesome,” a song that has been covered ad nauseum, still demands rapt attention thanks to his pleading vocals.
Based in Austin, the wildly prolific musician, with a constantly-changing band has set a remarkably high bar for himself with Visions Of America.
Matthew Squires – Visions Of America/Self-Released/ 2019 / Domain /