In the summer of 2009, Tampa-native Matt Hires took us to the start of his career, with his first full-length album, “Take Us to the Start.” Though this young talent has only just begun the start of a long life in music, he is no amateur; being the first artist to sign with F-Stop Music (an imprint of Atlantic Records), opening for the likes of Eric Hutchinson, Paolo Nutini and Serena Ryder. Collaborating with Sara Bareilles on this album has been only a few of his greatest accomplishments.
Though most of the songs on “Take Us To The Start” are filled with sugary-sweet melodies and choruses. The lyrics often reflect heartbreak and are emphasized by Hires’s raspy tenor voice.
In the LP’s opening track, “Honey Let Me Sing You a Song,” a fingerpicked guitar and Hires’s voice come in softly, if only for a moment before the chorus breaks into a full-band jam as Hires pleads for his lover not to leave him. Though he is often compared to Dave Matthews or John Mayer, Hires says that some of his main influences include Tom Petty, Conor Oberst from Bright Eyes, Wilco, and Bob Dylan.
“Some [of the songs] are about four years old, and others are new and some were written with my producer and some artists that he knew,” Matt Hires said. “He produced Sara Bareilles’s album also, so that was really cool to work with her.”
In the past, Hires has toured with other artists for a year and a half at a time, opening for them with merely an acoustic set of his songs. However, after the release of “Take Us to the Start,” Hires began (and is currently on) the State Lines Tour, which continues through May 16, concluding in Gulf Shores, Ala. His first headlining tour, it is also cleverly named after a track of the album.
Hires plans to perform in his hometown, Tampa, sometime soon and hopes to make it to Miami in the future.
Producer: Eric Rosse
Label: F-Stop/ Atlantic
Release date: August 25, 2009
For more information on Matt Hires and his State Lines Tour, visit his myspace page.