What I’m Listening to: Mat Kearney


It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post, so I thought I’d share about some music I’m really enjoying (got a few posts planned). I’ve got Mat Kearney’s “Just Kids” on repeat a lot lately – probably driving my family and friends crazy. To be honest, I never really intentionally listed to Kearney before – sure he’d come on the radio now and again and I was familiar with him – just never got into it.

This album though is pretty interesting. Lot’s of great sounds and production. Great hooks and sing-along choruses. And a cool balance of gut-wrenching and fun writing – all delivered with Mat’s unique singing, rapping, and spoken word.

While I really enjoy every song from the album, here are a couple highlights:

  • Moving On – great song dealing with regret/forgiveness, super catchy and fun to listen to. I really like the guitar movement starting on the second verse and some great drums.
  • Heartbeat – this one is just a fun poppy sing-along song.
  • Billion – somewhat cheesy, but again so much fun to listen to. Kind of like an 80’s pop mixed with a reggae feel. Fun to listen to with your one in a billion.
  • Los Angeles – such a great hook in the chorus of this song. Sounds like a little autobiography by Mat and how LA is woven into his story. If I had a convertible, I’d blast this driving down Sunset, at sunset – so cliché.
  • Shasta – this simple song makes me think of times past, memories from childhood and all the different cities I grew up in or visited. It’s very moving how Kearney really captures something with just guitar and vocal tracks…

Here’s a couple other short reviews that are well written:

“Mat Kearney delivers nostalgia perfection on Just Kids. His lyrics are intimate, his emotions are infectious and his feel-good pop will make you dance.”-NewReleaseTuesday.com

“Experimenting with a cacophony of sounds from 80s-pop to rustic folk to contemporary EDM to 90s-soul-rap, there isn’t a dull moment on this record.  And to add further zest to already a spicy record are the vivid images and picturesque descriptions.  All of these thus make Just Kids a gorgeous three-dimensional sonic autobiography.”-Hallels.com

After listening to it for a week or so, I checked out a few videos just to learn more. I was super impressed with his behind the scenes studio stuff, his acoustic stuff, his live performances, and even his video production, which includes a single drone shot video to “Heartbeat” that’s pretty cool. I’m super impressed how he translates his produced recordings to live one’s – real “next thing” kind of stuff, I think – I just love the idea of an acoustic guitar and drum machine/looper in the same breath. I’ve put a couple videos below.

Visit matkearney.com to check him out more and follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.