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Squires, Matthew

Visions of America
(Self-Released)
Release Date: August 30, 2019

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Matthew Squires is a singer-songwriter based in Austin, Texas. Since 2010, he and his ever-evolving band have released seven albums which have been met with increasing critical acclaim. His work has been praised by TheNeedleDrop, Stereogum, Brooklyn Vegan, Performer Magazine, Largehearted Boy, Surviving The Golden Age, Magnet Magazine, and many others.

In the three years following the release of his last album, Squires has split his time between a monastic Buddhist community in rural east Texas and his hometown of Austin, where he has been hard at work on his new album, Visions of America, which will be released on August 30th, 2019.

Laden with literary and cultural references ranging from Melville and Shiva to Donald Duck, Visions of America is, at least in part, aimed at uncovering the diverse and complex roots of American consciousness. More so than any of Squires’ previous records, he seems to want to engage to some degree with the social and cultural turmoil within which he is creating. As usual, Squires doesn’t offer any easy answers. He writes from an enigmatic inner landscape, trying his best to make sense of who, where, when, and why he is. Demonstrating his mastery over the craft of songwriting, he offers lines that are at times as funny as they are heartbreaking.

Aesthetically, the record is a bit of a shift for him, as well. Whereas his previous work was reliably idiosyncratic and ambitious in its production, this record – perhaps in an effort to stay true to its Americana theme – has a much more measured and somewhat traditional approach at times. By far the shortest album of his career at a mere nine songs, Visions of America is a lean record, lacking excess, where every line counts.

With his distinctive vocal style and penetrating lyrics, Squires continues to carve out a unique niche for himself within the realm of indie pop, creating a hard-to-pin-down sound which manages to entertain and enlighten in equal measure.

In an era with so much music so widely available, it’s a great relief to hear something which stands out so firmly. Visions of America is an album of truly masterful songwriting which offers a brief refuge from the societal crises that surround us.


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