Matt York
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Matt York

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2007 | SELF | AFM

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 2007
Solo Americana Folk

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"Matt York - Boston, Texas (album review)"

“You have to have smarts and heart to turn the same three chords Buddy Holly used into something fresh. On Matt York’s “Boston, Texas,” the singer-songwriter uses basic building blocks — Holly’s chords, Hank Williams’ swagger, Steve Earle’s boozy wisdom, Paul Westerberg’s straight-up-drunk wisdom — to construct an album of beauty, optimism and heartbreak. York came up with indie rock notables Wide Iris around the turn of the century, but has been out of the game for a while. He doesn’t seem rusty. The lead track “Big Fan of Why” has him charging into aces roadhouse rockabilly. “Let’s Go to the Beach” adds snarl and strut to the affair. “Tomorrows” draws a line between ’70s country rock and Northampton indie I didn’t know could be drawn. These songs have so much life and pathos, I can’t imagine the kind of power they would have live. Thankfully, I don’t need to speculate. York celebrates the release of “Boston, Texas” this weekend” - Jed Gottlieb. Boston Herald, January, 2016 - Boston Herald


"Global Texan Chronicles"

Matt York’s release Boston, Texas certainly canvasses the landscapes of “lost love, the emotions” but what I find as intriguing as the songwriters emotional outpours are the tapestries he has woven to support his laments. While most artists highlight, tease and rework influences within their sounds, most stick a specific genre, but York’s album is unique in that it travels so many sonic avenues it is impossible to pigeonhole. Utilizing well placed backdrops as soundtracks as moods change and his stories are worked out.

Matt York is without a doubt a brillant talent and the songwriter stopped by for a track by track Boston, Texas. -


"Matt York covers the map with 'Boston, Texas'"

It takes a couple listens to become apparent, but the title to Matt York’s new album, “Boston, Texas,” is also a note to the listener. The Boston singer-songwriter, who will be performing July 16 at the Tavern at the End of the World in Charlestown, is telling us that he’s working form two very specific music compass points here: The New England acoustic, singer-songwriter scene of recent years, which has produced vibrant, progressive takes on traditional forms, and the classic country music of the mid-20th century, before it got tangled in Nashville plastic.
Indeed, York gets straight to the point on the album’s opening number, “Big Fan of Why,” a breezy bit of country rock and, really, the album’s best contender to be a contemporary radio single. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable song, lyrically brokenhearted but brassy and boisterous musically. The album continues on in that vein with the high-energy “Let’s Go to the Beach.” Both of these songs are blisteringly paced, and each feel a little bit country, a little bit contemporary indie rock.
But really, the album gets interesting with the cry-in-your-beer honky-tonk “Saw You On Friday” and the even more wistful “Losing Streak.” The former song is a paean to wrestling with letting go of a relationship, a process which, in the finest country music tradition, involves copious drinking: “Saw You on Friday/woke up on a Tuesday/I don’t remember a thing.” There’s a bite in York’s voice on “Friday,” one that’s punctuated by Katy Boc’s haunting fiddle playing. The intensity of that vibe deepens with “Losing Streak,” which takes on a “country-by-way-of Social Distortion” feel, spare playing expressing raw emotion.
The vibe gets broken up by the up-tempo rocker “New To You,” a vibrant shake-off-the-blues number, but this deep in, it’s clear that this is an unabashed break-up album, the kind that’s been a country staple for decades, from Johnny Cash’s “Cry, Cry, Cry” to Taylor Swift’s “You And Me Are Never, Ever Getting Back Together.” But it’s not the subject matter that’s of interest, or even really the execution, although that’s great. No, it’s the stylistic range York displays throughout the album that’s interesting, especially when he hits the eerily spare “Sick of It All.” The album has a simple subject and a basic narrative, but the emotional and musical span covered is kind of remarkable.
Things pick up again with “Tomorrows,” which takes on something of a country rock feel and a more resentful tone. It’s actually a little bit of a tantrum, really, but it feels earned. The sense of shaking off self-pity here is appreciated, and it certainly informs what’s arguably the album’s best track, “I’m Back.”
“I’m back to show you what I want,” sings York, “I’m back to see a few old haunts/I’m back to show you who I’m supposed to be.”
There’s a masculine steadiness about this song, with York’s voice low and the heavy country guitars. It’s straight-up cowboy, but the strength of the persona finding his self-esteem really sells it. It’s also what makes the album’s closer, “Love You the Same,” so desolate and heartbreaking: The persona gets so close to moving on, but can’t. It’s an old, familiar story, but you know York’s told it well, because when it’s over, your heart is aching. - Worcester Telegram


"With Ears Wide Open"


"We don't say this to be mean. But the fact is, a lot of CDs by local bands sound like, uh, CDs by local bands. And we're not talking about production values. We're talking about the music. But every once in a while, a CD lands in the Discman, and you double-take: Is this a national act that we nodded off and missed somehow? They're local, right? Such was Go!'s reaction when we finally spend some quality time with Wide Iris's self-titled disc. Tight, polished, and brimming with attitude, the songs purloin bits of the Buzzcocks and Pixies, spin out some just-this-side-of-the-surf bass and guitar riffs, and work the whole garage-rock punk thing into a rich, foamy lather. Not only were we smiling, we were hitting the repeat button. We're not sure how that's all going to translate at tonight's acoustic show at T.T. the Bear's Place, but we're eager to find out. Wide Iris shares the bill with Garage Dogs, Roger Fisk of Popgun Seven, and members of the Gladstones. Starts around 9:30. No cover."
- Boston Globe


"Rock On"

"Matt York's songs make us laugh. The Wide Iris singer-guitarist knows what rock 'n' roll is supposed to sound like and do: Make your head bob and you pound your fist and forget about everything but the riff, your beer and your bruised heart. Wide Iris headlines at T.T. the Bears Place tonight. White Trash Delux shares the bill." - Boston Globe


""The luck of the Iris""

For most people, behaving like a snotty, obnoxious wiseass leads only to a punch in the face. But for pop-punk bands, being obnoxious can lead to fame, fortune and heavy rotation on MTV. Just look at Green Day or Blink 182. The members of the Boston-based trio Wide Iris may not have the MTV-ready good looks or videos of those two bands, but they've got the cockiness down pat. With songs like "I Used to be Dyslexic (But Now I'm KO)," "Happy I'm Dead," "Dreams of Piss" and "Fuck Tomorrow," they prove they can be just as hateful as the next punk band and, hence, just as entertaining.

As might be expected from pop-punkers, Wide Iris doesn't experiment with its music. There are some ska influences and a little bit of blues-rock to differentiate it from the rest of the crowd, but innovation is not what the group is aiming for. The 11 songs on its self-titled CD from last year are about catchy riffs, bad behavior and fun. Vocalist Matt York sings mostly about relationships, but with a view more jaundiced than sensitive.

There's nothing flashy about Wide Iris' playing, but it's tight and energetic, which is exactly what you want from this kind of band. Although there isn't a flat-out great song on the CD, there are many that come close, such as "Girlfriend," "Maybe, Baby" and "What I Bleed." Those looking for a bad attitude and a good time will want to check out Wide Iris.


Wide Iris plays the Better End, 446 Fore St., Portland, on Sat., Jan. 29 at 9:30.
- Casco Bay Weekly (Portland, ME)


"Wide Iris"

"Boston's Wide Iris is trying to do it the old fashioned way. They're trying to earn it. Take three guys with instruments and a will to make music and you have the basic recipe for Wide Iris. It's not overly complicated or technically complex, but they have fun and their aim is for you to have fun too.

In order to get started, the Iris boys started their own label with the assistance of their manager, Dennis Kelleher. This is a good thing. Putting out your own music allows you to maintain complete creative control and put out the stuff you want to. Don't get me wrong, if you're a rep from Warner Brothers I'm sure the guys would love to hear from you, but initially putting out your own stuff is the way to go.

Wide Iris meshes several different genres in order to attack the pop-rock mountain. Listen carefully and you'll hear the staccato guitar riffs that could be found readily in any song The Specials ever did. The vocals are more reminiscent of Green Day or Blink 182 then a ska/reggae hybrid. The post adolescent angst and anxiety of relationships, goes hand in hand with songs about beer and having a good time. Singer Matt York has a higher-pitched voice then you might expect from a non-emo band, but it works. His delivery, though, causes some confusion for the listener. Is he being sincere? Is it an act? Vocally, he comes across as a much more eloquent and sincere Billy Joe. York also handles the guitar work competently.

The rhythm section flows nicely from pat ska repetition to boot-stomping honky-tonk blues. Jeff Corbin on Bass and Matt Masson on drums both are skilled at changing rhythm styles mid-song.

Wide Iris play The Lizard Lounge on Mass. Avenue in Cambridge on New Years' Eve. The Cover is $40 and it's recommended you get there by 9pm.

- Boston Globe


"27 great albums you missed in 2017"

Between the Bars,” Matt York. York’s country rock with a jangly edge has instantaneous appeal, combining wry lyrics about barflies, ex-lovers and fading summers with infectious melodies and a rocker’s penchant for strumming his way through heartbreak. York’s lived-in vocals, punctuated by gruff harmonies, moody horns and ’60s-style organ flourishes, make you feel like you’re right next to him in the bar at closing time. LISTEN TO: “When The War Began” - Gatehouse Media


"Review: Matt York – “Permanent Crush”"

It has to be asked: Why hasn’t UML alum Matt York taken off on a national scale in the same way that less compelling singer-songwriters have? (Looking at you, Ed Sheeran.) Utilizing a tried and true formula of working class sensibilities, minimal chords, and a whole lot of heart, the Boston-based singer-songwriter has woven songs that ooze likeable earnestness, whether they’re just old fashioned love songs, or drawing attention to real world issues like the opioid epidemic or gun safety.

His latest single, “Permanent Crush” is the former of the two, with just a little bit of Bruce Springsteen working class flavor sprinkled atop. It’s a regular Joe folk rock anthem that’s not much seen in modern music anymore, with anthemic bar-singalong guitars, a shuffling fall dance beat, and York’s own husky vocals, which harkens to the likes of Steve Earle, Townes Van Zandt, and just a little bit of Brian Fallon of The Gaslight Anthem. An acoustic ditty that’s got a bit more punch than your average campfire singalong, short and simple, but sweet and solemn in that simplicity. - The Lowell Spin


"This Just In: MATT YORK – “Permanent Crush” (produced by Thomas Wenzl)"

Bostonian singer-songwriter Matt York’s new single “Permanent Crush” is an ode to a relationship hanging on a thread. With the haunting and eager lyric sensibilities of Noel Gallagher’s “Wonderwall” and delivered in an earnest timeless alt-country vocal. Produced by Thomas Wenzl, this track finds York at his best. Edging ever closer to the heights of songwriters like Lukas Nelson and Justin Townes Earle. If you’re into distinctive song construction, this is for you. - Global Texas Chronicles


Discography

Releases:

Matt York (solo)

Boston, Texas (full-length album) 2016

"Hot Shot" (single) 2016

"On My Own" (single) 2016

Live at the Bitter End in NYC - 2016

Several past releases as the singer/songwriter for the band Wide Iris.


Photos

Bio

The Boston Herald says "“You have to have smarts and heart to turn the same three chords Buddy Holly used into something fresh. On Matt York’s “Boston, Texas,” the singer-songwriter uses basic building blocks — Holly’s chords, Hank Williams’ swagger, Steve Earle’s boozy wisdom, Paul Westerberg’s straight-up-drunk wisdom — to construct an album of beauty, optimism and heartbreak". Matt York's recent album Boston, Texas has received airplay all over the world on all different types of radio stations. Despite his band being a noisy rock n roll act for the most part, he received the New England Country Music Organization's "Best Traditional Country Songwriter Award" this year. In his hometown of Boston, Massachusetts, he's been featured on virtually every radio station that plays either country or rock music. His album won Limelight Magazine's "Debut Album of the Year" earlier this spring. He does both solo and full band shows and has played all over the east coast.