Matthew Squires
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Matthew Squires

Austin, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | INDIE

Austin, Texas, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Pop Singer/Songwriter




"Matthew Squires – “Shape Of Your Heart”"

In his newest psych-pop single “Shape Of Your Heart,” Matthew Squires takes on some iconic roles: “I am the Antichrist/ I am Mother Teresa, too/ I am the Antichrist/ I am everything to you.” Squires’ tone is confident and muffled, accompanied with abrupt guitar lines and a ’90s sensibility. He takes a detour mid-song, slowing things down with a melancholic outlook — “I promise I’ll never abandon you/ Even if you say you want me to” — and then returns to the opening melody upright and ready to start all over again. “Shape Of Your Heart” is full of unsuspecting jagged lines and peculiar turns. The track is on the Austin-based singer-songwriter’s forthcoming album Tambaleo, which will be out in late January. Check it out.

Tambaleo is out 1/20 on Already Dead Tapes. Check out Squires’ previous release Where The Music Goes To Die here. - Stereogum

"BEST & WORST TRACKS: 11/27 (Childish Gambino, Yung Lean, Macklemore, Flatbush Zombies)"

The weekly segment in which Anthony touches down on some of the best and worst tracks he has heard in the past week.

[This is a prominent vlogger, must watch video through link to see review. He includes it in his "best of" category around 7:15] - The Needle Drop

"Kate Bush, Sigur Rós, and Cloud Nothings Top Our Top Songs of the Week (11/25)"

Psych pop brightens even the gloomiest of winter days, but it does even more when the person making it lives in the south. Austin-based singer-songwriter Matthew Squires writes precisely this type of jangly song that gives you a burst of newfound energy. On “Shape of Your Heart”, a single off upcoming full-length Tambaleo (out via Already Dead Tapes on January 20th), he finds the heartfelt psych of Quilt, the lucid lyrics of the Moldy Peaches, and the ’60s energy of Foxygen. “I am the Antichrist/ I am Mother Teresa, too,” he sings, giddy with the type of delusional joy that stems from melancholic views. As the song slows down to a ’90s slump, Squires’ frown is a bit more visible — but even then, it feels like there’s no point in frowning. “I promise I’ll never abandon you/ Even if you say you want me to,” he sings, and it’s hard not to believe him. This is a guy who’s intent on making things work out, even if the weight of the world is pressuring him to believe otherwise. –Nina Corcoran - Consequence of Sound


Centered on socially aware, poetic lyricism, Squires’ new album transcends simple guy-with-guitar stereotypes. By incorporating layered arrangements that channel late ’90s indie rock and drawing from luminaries like Leonard Cohen for philosophical meditations that pose weighty questions for listeners, Tambaleo is the artist’s most fully realized work to date. - Austin Monthly


Austin’s indie pop musician Matthew Squires has been hard at work on his upcoming album Tambaleo. While we wait patiently for that, we’ve got the exclusive premiere of his video for “Shape Of Your Heart” .

A seemingly mundane day standing by a pool, fully clothed. Sitting next to a fire pit on the patio during the day. It seems like a hot summer day, but that could be the ambience the colors are projecting. Squires sings “I am the Antichrist / I am Mother Teresa, too / I am the Antichrist / I am everything to you” so nonchalantly as he glances at the camera. Our favorite part of the video is the psychedelic, overlapping of his features in different colors.

The video is quirky, interesting, and well-done. (P.S. BEAUTIFUL eyes, Mr. Squires!)

Tambaleo is coming out Jan 20 on Austin’s Already Dead Tapes. - Impose Magazine

"Matthew Squires’ Tambaleo is Enlightened, His Most Mature Work Yet"

Matthew Squires is preaching little sermons in the language of the people: pop music. The recordings of this singer-songwriter (and “attempted (mostly-failed) mystic,” according to his Facebook page) have always had some pop sensibilities. Now, on his latest album, Tambaleo, he mostly abandons his earlier experimental and lo-fi leanings and goes full-tilt toward pop.

On lead single “Shape of Your Heart,” the instruments and songwriting come together with the tight sound of a band that’s notched plenty of bar gigs on its belt. You could soundtrack a party with tracks like “Debt Song” and “Unwholesome Health,” even though one is about the Armageddon and the other talks about counseling Judas Iscariot over the phone. The songs on this album are focused, purposeful, and well-planned and executed.

At the center of everything are Squires’ lyrics: poetic, sermon-like and often heavy on religious imagery. His words are a mixture of Bible pages, Eastern philosophies and whatever else is going on inside his head. What comes out are lines like “You were born and you have died/A hundred million times before/You are all there is/You are everyone you’ve met/Welcome Matthew,/You were named after a friend/Of the Son of God.” On “Shining,” he hears the voice of God like Elvis, telling Squires “You are a hound dog/And your fur is stained with wine.” On “Bird Song,” he sings about failure, death, God and honor being mere feathers on a cosmic bird. “And when we spot her/We will feel so very small/But the arms of grace/Which we’ll embrace/Will not be so small,” he says.

Squires’ music is full of big themes from a small man on some path to some enlightenment. Despite how this sounds, Tambaleo isn’t heavy. It can be moody, contemplative, sad in some places, but it can also be fun, catchy, quirky, a little anthemic, like Squires belting out “Welcome home, dear/You’re not alone here” on “Sex & Tragedy.”

Tambaleo looks like the conclusion of a journey for Matthew Squires. He’s taken the pop route to its natural end on this album, and now he’s looking to take his sound somewhere new. “I’ve been wanting to step away from that more poppy kind of thing for a while, as I feel I’ve sufficiently carved out my little fingerprint with that approach,” Squires wrote in a Facebook post. “I’m going to try and explore other ways to dress up my songs that are a bit more intimate and subtle in their approach.” On closing track “The Living Goes,” everything is stripped down to the strings, a line on an acoustic guitar and Squires musing about the afterlife, “No one knows/Where the living goes/When the living goes away.” It’s sparse and quiet, offering a hint of which way the songwriter might be headed. But it’s more reminiscent of his earlier work. Really, there’s no telling where Squires goes from here. His songcraft is more mature than ever. He has the tools to take his lyrical messages in any direction. On his road to enlightenment, it’s anyone’s guess where we’ll hear from him next, and what the message might sound like by then. - Ovrld

"Notes From Left of the Dial: Son of the Velvet Rat and more"

Matthew Squires, "Shape of Your Heart"
Austin, Texas-based singer-songwriter Matthew Squires has released a handful of warped psych pop records both with his band (The Learning Disorders) and on his own, and he's gearing up for the release of a new solo album called "Tambaleo," set to come out Jan. 20 via Already Dead Tapes. Since his last record was released, Squires has split his time between visiting a monastic Buddhist community in rural East Texas and writing and recording the songs that would form the basis of "Tambaleo." The record is an auditory biography of skewed pop machinations, the kind that buzz from one second to the next in a series of unrestrained rhythmic revelations.

On his new single, "Shape of Your Heart," Squires builds a perfect psych pop kaleidoscope before shattering it against the studio walls. The guitars are a bit ragged and range far from the track's center, but his confident voice eventually pulls everything back together. He's taking the sounds of classic indie rock and alternative pop, and fracturing them into 1,000 smaller pieces, with the resulting shower of phosphorescent particles creating a gorgeous streak across the sky. The song drops its tempo during its middle section but eventually jolts ahead just as quickly as it slowed down. There are melodic detours and a handful of darkened alleyways to maneuver, but Squires eventually gets back on the road and reveals a pure pop heart fueled by ebullient harmonies and a knack for persuasive hooks. - Nooga

"On Air Next: Radio 1190 welcomes Buffs back with Cherry Glazerr and Matthew Squires"

On-Air Next is back — your weekly guide to Radio 1190's top picks for fresh independent music. Every Thursday, I provide hot scoops and new groups for crate diggers, outsiders, weirdos and music lovers alike. So far, 2017 has already blessed us with exciting new sounds. This week, I'm bringing y'all new records from Cherry Glazerr and Matthew Squires that make going back to school a little more interesting.

Matthew Squires is a musical wunderkind from Austin with a knack for bending different genres into his idiosyncratic creative vision. His new record, "Tambaleo," is a album slammed with unique sounds and approaches. He shares Sufjan's appetite for grandiose instrumental movements but gives his music an edge closer to Margot and The Nuclear So and So's. "Tambaleo" is your Uber driver through a different dimension, winding through dismal mountain passes and mesas of vibrant beauty. It's surely an album in the proper sense of the word. Songs that don't seem special on their own contribute to the whole, and I've been easily sucked into a full listen when I intended to check out just a couple tracks.

"Tambaleo" is unexpectedly approachable. Although it's sweeping, it still has the feeling that it could be crafted by one of your ambitious friends, not a full-scale (ahem, Warner Bros.) production. Interested yet? Check out the tracks "Unwholesome Health," "Shining" and "Shape of Your Heat" to catch Matthew Squires' vibe. -


In Leonard Cohen’s song “A Singer Must Die” Cohen sings of singer, on trial for spreading an untruthful version of a romantic love that doesn’t exist through his song. Cohen says, “The singer must die, for the lie in his voice.”

If Matthew Squires was on trial by the same court, I think he might get off scott free, or at least a hung jury. In his song the rose colored glasses are off. He leads with the ever romantic line, “I am the Anti-christ” followed by “I am mother Theresa too. I am everything to you.”

I think that that is a very pragmatic way to look at youself and what you are to someone else in a relationship. And relationships in general. If I’m on the jury of song, I’m giving Matthew Squires a pardon.

Shape of Your Heart” by Matthew Squires was released on Matthew Squires new album, “Tambaleo.”
Listen if you like: The Moldy Peaches, Frankie Cosmos, Jeffery Lewis - RadioMiluakee

"January 2017 Comics, Poetry, and Reviews by aka"

Matthew Squires - Tambaleo (CD-R, Already Dead Tapes, Underground pop)

This album has been simultaneously released as a cassette and professionally created CD-R. Although we can't exactly explain why, this reminds us very much of some of the intricate underground pop albums we were hearing in the first few years of the twenty-first century. Matthew Squires resides in Austin, Texas...and he's one prolific fellow. Since 2012, he and his musical pals have released and recorded no less than five albums, all of which have been very well received. Tambaleo is impressive in many ways. These are not traditional pop songs, they're much more clever and intelligent than that. Squires is playing for a very select audience--listeners who want something more from pop music than just a beat and repetitive lyrics. These songs are like winding paths that lead to just about anywhere, without ever losing listeners in the process. Whether you label this progressive pop or art pop, one thing is certain. There's a whole helluva lot of creativity going on here. The lyrics are particularly interesting. No simple mindfluff here. Squires is obviously going to be making a major mark in the world of music for years to come. Tambaleo is one great big dose of audio magic. Top pick. - Babysue

"Matthew Squires: Tambaleo (Already Dead Tapes)"

Matthew Squires
(Already Dead Tapes)

For the past few years, Austin-based musician Matthew Squires has been turning out one great album of quirky indie pop after another and “Tambaleo” shows no signs that he is letting up anytime soon.

Blending electronic and acoustic instruments underneath Squires’ distinct vocals gives the songs a truly unique vibe. You can hear snatches of everyone from XTC to They Might Be Giants popping up here and there, but make no mistake; Squires is truly unique. He and his band have been on a prolific jag lately, putting out three albums in 2013, another in 2014.

With 15 tracks, ‘Tambaleo’ feels a tad bit bloated toward the end, but his idiosyncratic style and his way with lyrics is appealing enough to hold your attention for most of the record. It also happens to be one of his strongest releases yet, but to quote Squires summing up his music on his Facebook page: “Matthew Squires has been warmly recognized by many different critics. He’ll die, they’ll die. You’ll die, too!” - Innocent Words


Matthew Squires is that slightly offbeat singer-songwriter who convinces you to let your guard down. His self-deprecating view on life takes on psychedelic overtones in an earnest effort to support the mantra of keeping Austin weird. The unassuming demeanor of Squires would send a motivational speaker into a tirade unless of course it was Chris Farley living in a van down by the river. In that case, the two would get along marvelously!

In the land of food trucks, pedicabs and SXSW, Squires quietly plays shows never venturing out much beyond the city limits. He has released several albums since 2012 with his most recent 'Tambaleo' picking up some decent reviews. One of the stand out tracks is 'Shape of Your Heart'. We can't get this song out of our heads and the video has this eerie, but matter-of-fact playfulness all done on a shoe-string budget.

"With no label support," explains Squires, "I had a kickstarter fund it, but then went way over what I had anticipated spending. I spent all my own personal savings on it as well as two years of my life."

Squires spent part of the last two years between albums in a Buddhist community in rural east Texas which adds a certain element of introspection to his lyrics.

With the media black hole of SXSW just about upon us, let's shed a little light on an unsung hero from Austin. - Rock of the Arts

"WTSR New Noise: Matthew Squires & WYLDLIFE"

This week, WTSR Assistant Music Director Nelson Kelly highlights some of the best new albums that the College’s own radio station, 91.3 FM WTSR, puts into its weekly rotation.

Name: Matthew Squires
Album Name: Tambaleo
Release Number: 6th
Hailing From: Austin, TX
Genre: Poppy Indie Folk Rock
Label: Already Dead Tapes

Singer-songwriter Matthew Squires returns for his sixth album, and he’s just as quirky and unique as ever. Combine the psychedelia of the Flaming Lips with the rampant all-over-the-place-ness of Dr. Dog and you get “Tambaleo.” This album is laid back yet optimistic at the same time. Unlike so many writers today, Squires focuses on joy and positivity, kind of like a non-depressed aka Andrew Jackson Jihad.

Must Hear:
2. Welcome
3. Shining
4. Hosanna (Devotional #3)
5. Grace’s Drum
12. Shape of Your Heart - The Signal (The College of New Jersey's Newspaper)

"Matthew Squires "Tambaleo" Is His Most Ambition Album Yet- A Masterwork To Be Treasured In This Life Or After"

Matthew Squires popped up on my radar screen back in 2011 and I have been reporting on him ever since. At that time he was "Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders" and while he is now just Matthew Squires his penchant for writing lyrics that twist social conventions and ask big spiritual questions is still a large part of his allure along with the sardonic words that spill from his lips like ice cubes from a pitcher of ice tea on a hot day. His words are many. While a singer like Thom Yorke may uncomfortably stretch out a sentence, a word or a syllable, Matthew packs them in with the artistic deft of a beat poet or rapper framing his questions in a very diverse bed of music.

He crafted his current album "Tambaleo" over a two year period with a host of talented musicians splitting his time between a Buddhist monastic community in East Texas and creating the material for the album. While I do not know Squires influences to me his songs inhabit this space between progressive indie with an alternative folk tone. I thought of a psych rock Dr. Dog but on some of his more jammy rock tracks like Grace's Drum and Dead or Dying I thought of Neil Young, not folk Neil but rock Neil. These songs still ask important questions but the rock guitar flourishes are head banging and infections (especially on Dead or Dying).

On the track Shining which feels like ambling through a psychedelic forest. the musical break down at one point (like the band is rolling down a flight of stairs) is brilliant. The song swells and then gets chill as Squires sings, "the voice of God comes muffled through a beat up radio, it sounds a bit like Elvis... Presley not Costello". Hosanna is a beautiful swaying folk orchestral piece in a Kishi Bashi sort of way. Squires lyrics spin in many directions. He sings of meth heads, deep roots of time and "only one path for our world" as the mantra-ish chorus "Hosanna" embraces you it asks questions about the material world and that other world. He says the song is bout "pretending you have something to say" and at one point says "if you be my Jesus I'll be your Crucifixion". It is heady evocative stuff and taken out of context can stir so many questions. Is he skewing "other" religions or all of them?

Debt Song for me is the most indie post rock track and in fact the bouncy tone, pretty guitar work battling the edgy guitar work, and somewhat silly meets serious feels so 1985. I thought of Miracle Legion for whatever reason. Squires mentions Manhattan and sings, "and I saw the hole that those fuckers put in our sky" an obvious 911 reference. The song is cagey and will take me days to decipher lyrically. The music is almost always surprising like the startling and quite amazing tempo change that happens during Shape Of Your Heart. When the shift happens from a very upbeat jagged psych rocking tone it is so goddamn beautiful and trippy. Squires hooks you with perfectly placed drums and touches of glam and Beatle-esque watercolors as it almost veers into Mott The Hoople ballad-ish emotional tones. So so good.

Speaking of ballads. There is a great ballad on this record that feels classic but earnest. Forget about a manipulative pop ballad like Lady Gaga's Million Reasons. If you want one for the ages listen to Bird Song. In fact, Lady Gaga should record this song. In the track Silent Worlds there is the concept of the space between notes, "some will call it God... others will call it boring" and I find it so intriguing even for someone like me who early on classified myself as an agnostic and now consider myself an atheist. Despite my inclinations all the spiritual questions and talk of life, an after life and maybe even a before life is a philosophical pool I like to float in.

"Tambaleo" is Matthew Squires 7th studio album and his most cohesive work yet. It should be listened to all at once, all 15 songs because the album very much feels like one solid masterwork. The poetry and dynamic sounds from song to song connect up like chapters from the same glorious book. The lyrical content can be baffling but is always interesting, word puzzles to be put together over time. As someone who write songs I understand that some lyrics just happen from the pull of the music and may not mean anything at all to the one who writes them but all lyrics do mean something to those who yearn to listen to them. In this way lyrics have a thousand meaning to a thousand people and that might be at play here. Whatever is the case, Tambaleo is an album to be treasured in this life or after.

Robb Donker

You can stream Tambaleo on Spotify or download for any price you'd like from Matthew Squires Bandcamp Page. - American Pancake

"Pick Your Poison: Wednesday 11-23-16"

No matter who you’re celebrating with, I want to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving. Typically around this time it’s nice to take stock and reflect on all of the incredible blessings that have enriched our lives over the past year. Of course as just about everybody who has lived through it will tell you, 2016 has been a terrible, terrible year. We’ve lost so many incredible talents and disaster has struck at nearly every turn. At this point I’m thankful the year will be over soon. But as always, I’m grateful to you, dear reader, for visiting the site and checking out the new music that gets posted here every couple of days. I hope you’ve discovered some amazing new artists and have been inspired to go see more live music based on your experiences here on Faronheit. Leading into the long weekend, please enjoy downloads in this set from Adwaith, Ballistic (ft. Jay Kila), John Wesley Coleman III, Matthew Squires snd The Velvet Ants. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Cate Le Bon, The Chain Gang of 1974, Cloud Nothings, The Cool Kids, The Courtneys, Father John Misty, Jesper Jenset, Leon Else, Lower Plenty, Teen Daze and Uppermost.

Adwaith – Pwysau

Ballistic – Dreams (ft. Jay Kila)

Brielle Von Hugel – Naked

Few Dollars More – Destination Unknown

John Wesley Coleman III – Shovel

Matthew Squires – Shape of Your Heart

Una Ika Ai – In This Life (Owen Ross Remix)

The Velvet Ants – Prop Me Up - Faronheit


With the release of his new record, Tambaleo, Austin musician Matthew Squires has given his fans a new single titled “Shape of Your Heart.” His music has been given critical acclaim by several large music websites and after listening to his latest single, now we know why.

Armed with playful guitar licks and a distinctive, nasally vocal style, on “Heart” Squires is the next talented musician to emerge from Austin who has made his way to the national stage.

Indie-pop fans will adore every second of the track, as everything falls into place perfectly on “Shape of Your Heart.”

Listen to “Shape of Your Heart” below. -

"New Music 2.9.17"

February 9, 2017
RIYL: Recommended If You Like
*indicates MD pick

*Matthew Squires Tambaleo – “With his distinctive vocal style and penetrating lyrics, Squires has carved out a unique niche for himself within the realm of indie pop, creating an idiosyncratic sound which manages to entertain and enlighten in equal measure.” Try: 5, 6, 9 - KBUT Community Radio

"Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders | The Giving"

It’s with an unwavering sense of grace that Matthew Squires presents his new track ‘The Giving‘, and where his band name might provide something of a mouthful, the music itself is a faint and simple offering which takes on far greater weight when coupled with the accompanying video, which you can check out below.

Taken from a new four track EP which is released on August 28th, the video finds Squires wandering around a dilapidated streets and abandoned buildings as he sings of the fleeting nature of life and ruminations on what we all leave behind. The guitar is stark and simple, with occasional flourishes of eminently pretty brass, however it’s Squires’ way with words, and the cracked vocal that presents them, which leaves the most lasting impression. It’s a beautiful, poignant moment of restraint, and you should check it out below right now. - GoldFlakePaint

"Quick Pick Album Reviews"

Quirky, floaty, indie psychedelic rock, Matthew Squires & the Learning Disorders is an ever-evolving project. Their latest LP is equally ambitious lyrically and in terms of composition. This quirky indie album twists together with psychedelic rock elements and leaves you somewhere between fantasy and reality.

The combination of electronic and acoustic instrumentation results in unexpected harmonies that float through the air, and leave you with a comforting, familiar feeling that you've been here before. The guitars strum and pluck to upbeat percussive melodies, accompanied by smooth and emotionally mature lyrics that take you on an intimate journey of love, loss and uncertainty. Recommend if you're in the mood for something different....

Follow on twitter @ImMattSquires

-Jaclyn Wing - PERFORMER Magazine

"Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders released a new album (watch the video for "Echo")"

Austin band Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders released their new album, Where The Music Goes To Die, this week. It's a nice collection of lyrical indie pop that you can download (name your price) at bandcamp and stream in full below. We've also got the premiere of the video for its single "Echo" (dir. Erik Gatling) which you can watch below as well. - Brooklyn Vegan - Austin

"Last 2015 Singles, Pt. 2"

Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders. Squires expands his yearning, searching alt-folk to include found sounds–the lyrics are just as thought-provoking and honest as ever. - Independent Clauses

"Matthew Squires and The Learning Disorders – Where The Music Goes To Die"

Where The Music Goes To Die bears a suitably audacious title for the most ambitious record to date from workaholic songsmith Matthew Squires. His 2012 debut The Great and Empty Sea boasted some capable songwriting soaked in a tinge of far-out psych experimentation. Since then, Squires has been honing his unique craft of DIY freak-pop with a further three releases, now exceeding with his fifth record in two years.

Unsurprisingly for an artist of the DIY singer-songwriter clique, Squires boasts a similarly freaky, nasally voice to that of 1990-era Daniel Johnston, with a light dash of Sean Bonnette during his upper-register croons. Though the subject matter of his lyrics deals with a brand of similarly haunting introspection to both those artists, Squires' lyrics are far less grotesque. Instead, his mastery lies elsewhere in re-arranging stories of personal struggles into narratives teeming with rich, offbeat imagery straight out of a Tao Lin novel.

The youthful, maudlin guitar-strummer is a caricature the DIY blogosphere is currently rife with, giving the impression that all you need to succeed within that scene is a four-track and some dewy-eyed melancholy. Thankfully, Squires sits comfortably outside that circle. While much of his material is still similarly reflective and contemplative, some humorous self-referentiality keeps the music afloat above the sea of mushy bathos. Squires expresses his droll self-awareness with tracks like “Corny Love Song”, as well as the introductory track where the life of an innocent piano refrain is ruthlessly cut short by the assault of, what's presumably, Squires himself letting out some artistic catharsis out on his instruments. That just about sets the tone for the rest of the album, with lyrics often holding some kind of emotionally cathartic element to them, as Squires lists off his collection of grievances throughout the album's lyrics, relating to conventional singer-songwriter topics of relationships and creativity, but with a sense of tentative fragility, such as on opener “Echo”, where he reassures a past sweetheart that “this song is not about you,” just in case they may be listening.

While Squires still emphasises the singer-songwriter element, instrumentally he picks the bones of each instrument down to its bare essentials. The heavy chord leads of his earlier releases are toned down to make way for strong, sunny guitar melodies which dance between being muted and plucked. The lighter percussion shuffles and bounces along between toms, complementing the rest of the instruments far more, as well as the luscious production that makes the record feel so soft and delicate to the senses. It’s gratifying to see Squires come so far as an artist in such a short space of time. He alone proves that DIY artists can create art to rival the products of major labels, with neatly-arranged, delicate instrumentation coming together with lyrics that lament an insecurity from being caught between fantasy and reality, and with enough meta self-awareness to stave off toxic, self-absorbed pretence. Simply put, it’s Squires’ triumph, and boasts enough longevity to last ‘til next summer.

Release: 2nd December 2014, Self-release - DrunkenWerewolf Magazine


Odd and enchanting, Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders‘ “The Giving” is like a light to your butterfly. You can’t help the attraction. Sad horns, street noises, false starts and quietly murmured lyrics prove to be unusually hypnotic. The track will likely appeal to fans of Modest Mouse, and it’s one that is sort of a one-off for Squires as he does not plan to release it on an upcoming LP. He intimates, “I might end up putting this song with a few of the others that won’t fit onto an album into a lo-fi EP, but it depends on how much time I have to do that.” We hope you have time, Matthew, because this track is great.

You’ll probably want to delve deeper into their catalog, which is fairly deep with recent pay-what-you-want releases on Bandcamp. - The Dadada


Austin-based musician, Matthew Squires is preparing to release his fourth studio album, Where The Music Goes To Die on December 2nd. Surviving the Golden Age is pleased to premiere the album’s single, “Echo.” The track sounds somewhere between Vampire Weekend, Destroyer, and Bob Dylan, perfectly mixing indie rock, English blues, and folk songwriting before culminating in a fervor of sound. It is an exhilarating look at what should be a fantastic album. - Surviving the Golden Age

"Listening Post: Four records you should hear this week"

Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders, "Where the Music Goes to Die"

There are some records that are cast in stone, unalterable and immovable. They prefer specific climes and environments, and are just as apt to withhold information as they are to reward your time spent with them; others are a bit looser and inviting, with a communal predisposition. And the latest release from Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders, "Where the Music Goes to Die," is an ideal example of a record perfect in its impermanence. This is the sound of an artist in transition, though I couldn't exactly say where he's going or where he's coming from. These songs feel vibrant and rhythmically elastic, as if each note is carefully stretched across Squires' inclusive lyrics.

You can hear traces of bands like Vampire Weekend and The Mountain Goats shifting around in the substructure of Squires' work, but there is also a distinct lo-fi aesthetic, recalling Daniel Johnston's bizarre pop idealism, that manages to impart a not-unsubstantial influence on the whole record. While these sounds and textures are fairly recognizable, he has subtly altered them in ways that make them redolent of his own inspirations but still wholly his own. Guitars shimmy and shake while upbeat percussive melodies bounce around the room, and Squires' words echo between your ears. Love, loss, and the joy and uncertainty of the world around us become emotional fodder for this collection of intimate and often-quixotic songs. - Nooga

"Goodbye 2014: Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders / The Maravines / Lord Buffalo"

The vision of indie rock that Neutral Milk Hotel put forward is alive and well in Matthew Squires. Where the Music Goes to Die is a mindbending mix of melodic sophistication, off-kilter arrangements, highly literate and oft-enigmatic lyrics, idiosyncratic vocals, and an uncompromising attitude toward the creation of the work. Heidegger, Plato, and copious Biblical references weave their way through the album, as Squires spins indirect (“When Moses Sighed”) and direct eulogies (“American Trash”) of American society.

The songs that bear the lyrics are at turns jaunty indie-rock tunes [the excellent “Echo,” “Some Corny Love Song (Devotional #1)”], major-key alt-folk (the title track, “Plato’s Cave”), and doomy folk (“When Moses Sighed,” “A Strange Piece”). Squires’ high-pitched voice keeps the whole ship sailing, as he brings the listener through the collection with ease. The ultimate result of the collection is similar to that of In the Aeroplane Over the Sea: Where the Music Goes to Die delivers an almost-overwhelming amount of ideas to take in, but all those pieces unfold through repeated enjoyment of the impressively refined melodic surface level. If nothing else, you’ll love singing along to “Echo”–maybe the Heidegger reference will hit later. - Independent Clauses

"Video Premiere: Matthew Squires And The Learning Disorders – “A Strange Piece”"

Austin has been a hotbed for the singer-songwriter all the way back to the times of Willie Nelson, so it is no surprise these days when a voice comes along from that time zone that makes you take notice. Today’s video premiere highlights this as Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders offer up the heartfelt track, “A Strange Piece” from their new self-released album Where The Music Goes To Die.

The video will catch your eye as it tells a story while visually moving the era backwards. The song itself displays Squires’ songwriting skills in its most simplistic form but as the ballad moves forward the video turns back the clock (and musical devices) which completely pulled me in until the film simply disintegrates.

“A Strange Piece” represents just one side of Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders talent. If you like what you hear (or see), I would encourage you to check out their full length as Where The Music Goes To Die is a solid listen from beginning to end. - The Fire Note

"Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders released a new album (watch the video for "Echo")"

Austin band Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders released their new album, Where The Music Goes To Die, this week. It's a nice collection of lyrical indie pop that you can download (name your price) at bandcamp and stream in full below. We've also got the premiere of the video for its single "Echo" (dir. Erik Gatling) which you can watch below as well. - BrooklynVegan

"Matthew Squires The Giving Is A Great Window Into Explorative Songwriting"

For those of you who don’t know, Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders is the collaborative project centered around singer-songwriter Matthew Squires based out of Austin, Texas. Squires states on his Facebook that the “band” is, “a rotating lineup of people who he forces to play with him at gunpoint.” So basically a creative musical blob with a core that is Matthew Squires, but with different ideas from different folks he knows. Pretty cool. Typically you get a lot of Indie Pop infused Folk from this band, but with Matthew Squires’ most recent EP, The Giving, the band’s music finds itself in a much more dialed back and introverted place.

From the introduction of “Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll (or: At Least Whatever’s Left of It)”, one gets the sense that this is going to be a pretty tripped out affair. The opening sound collage of pontificating street preachers, rolling drums and warped voice chants reminds me of the opening of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, as it chaotically swirls around you before ceasing to make room for a single acoustic guitar and Squires’ signature Jeff Mangum-esque vocals. With the groove the band is able to create from the guitar and simplistic percussive instrumentation, the song has a nice Psychedelic Folk feel, and shows off how well these artists are able to work with such a limited toolbox.

“Whirlpool Hymnal” begins with another small sound collage of waves crashing, throat singing, and a distant crowd counting down. Once we hear the music again, we are now in the thick of what the rest of this album feels like, pretty much exclusively accompanied by Squires and his guitar, slowly plucking simple, and very subtly Poppy, guitar melodies while his voice drifts about above. With this stripped down format, one can really hear how well Squires is able to carry melody with his voice. The guitar on this song plays one small phrase over and over, but the track is built around Squires, with the occasional addition of texture via droning organ or water dripping field recordings. It’s quite impressive from both a musicianship and songwriting perspective.

“The Giving” has Squires and his guitar playing a similar vibe to the previous track; again, just a simple guitar melody and floating vocals. What breaks the monotony a bit, however, is the occasional injection of recordings of cheering crowds, plinks and plonks of field recorded percussion, distant electric guitars, and trumpet melodies. Through the implementation of these, one gets the sense that they’re almost listening to a sort of Field Recordings project on top of a Folk track, like a clash between simple, but regimented, songwriting and chaotic, but somehow cohesive, background noise. It propels this music beyond just being singer-songwriter ‘X’ and into a completely creative entity. I’m quite into it.

With the closing track, “Bedrock of Life”, we again are greeted by a mass of sounds and recordings, sounding like we’re trapped in some in-between state where half of us is in some busy city, and the other is inside a TV with the channels constantly changing. All this evaporates to again find Squires and his guitar playing their Indie Folk for us, but at this point things begin to unfortunately feel a bit repetitious. Although Squires’ lyrics are especially personal and varied, the songs are all sort of built around a central phrasing that doesn’t appear to change much. That is, until you hear the hidden track on the back end of this song. It’s much more Folky than the rest of the album, with no samples or anything, and with lyrics about missing someone to the point of being able to write about nothing else. It feels like the most personal track on the album, and flits along a little quicker than everything else, and somehow finds its way into my favorite “track” on the album.

Squires is able to create something here that blurs the lines of Folk and experimentation, remaining simultaneously stripped down, but with enough layers of complexity to notice a little something different each listen. While the EP at times will feel a bit repetitious, at least in the main vocals and guitar department, it deserves praise for its use of sound collage, the intimacy of Squires’ singing and lyrics, and the tinge of Pop that seems to poke its head out with each song. It’s a great window into explorative songwriting, and small stroll down avenues of sound that you maybe never heard before.

The Giving will be out on August 28th, through Matthew Squires’ Bandcamp page. - Ovrld

"Matthew Squires and The Learning Disorders – “Where The Music Goes To Die”"

Around this time last year, indie pop nerd Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders dropped his second album You Are Everything or: The Art of Being Nothing in Particular.

A brilliant, literate pop mix between the tribal(ish) beats of (early) Vampire Weekend, twee pop from the likes of Belle & Sebastian and anger pop á la Violent Femmes, it was definitely one of the quiet highlights of the year.

Just dropped is new album Where The Music Goes To Die, in some ways a quieter and more measured affair but in fairness in some ways not that at all.

With elements of indie pop, psych pop, good old fashioned fuck off pop, alt folk and almost country-twang, the album is DIY pop at its best. - Deadly Music


"A“Although it seems beyond belief, there does not exist a single piece of music, not composed within the last forty years, that is regarded by the learned as worth hearing.” These are the words of Johannes Tinctoris and as far as I know, the first account of someone expressing the sentiment that music is dead. And that was in 1477. Of course, music persists, despite it again being pronounced dead in a rather epic, albeit tiresome, fashion by Don McLean many years later. And even with the moment of silence Jay-Z gave autotune, you wouldn’t have that much trouble finding that technique today.

All of this is to say that anybody who has shoveled dirt on capital-m Music in the past has found themselves burying in vain. Art as an auditory form isn’t going anywhere. Unless, perhaps, you’re Matthew Squires. The Austin-based songwriter and his interchanging band, The Learning Disorders, recently gave us the album Where The Music Goes To Die, yet another attempt at an obituary for the beloved medium.

Goes to Die isn’t necessarily an idle threat either. The first track, “Prelude (A Piano Is Murdered)” is quite actually the sounds of a piano meeting its maker, a bizarre move certainly, but one letting us know that Squires isn’t messing around. That earnest nature is pervasive on the album. Over heavily folk, country, and blues-influenced tracks, Squires bleats and yawps with a soul-bearing quality. This gravity mixed with springy guitar work evokes the sound of Bright Eyes, but with a less aggressive and more burdened tone. “I hope your heart is a planet/dancing in the ballet of gravitational trust/I hope you never understand this/mesmerizing and painful universe” he sings on “Trophy Song,” well-wishing occupying the same breath as cosmic sorrow.

The weaknesses of Goes to Die are perhaps stated best by Squires himself on “A Work In Progress.” “I’ve been working on this new song that has been worked on one million times before,” he admits. Musically, there are times when Squires seems to have exhausted the pipeline of new ideas, such as the arpeggiation on “All We’ve Got” or repeated I-IV exchange of the title track. But maybe the way music dies isn’t through a revolutionary new weapon. Perhaps it takes the slow, methodical attack of repetition.

With the way Squires wears his heart on his sleeve in these songs, it’s no wonder he might be wishing for the death of music. At this point it would be charitable. But his ability to twist his confessional lyrics through intriguing folk-blues numbers leaves the listener rooting for music to survive. With all apologies to Johannes Tinctoris, I believe this is worth hearing. - Surviving The Golden Age


Austin, TX’s Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders is preparing to release his new EP, The Giving on August 28th. Surviving the Golden Age is pleased to premiere the video for the EP’s titular track. Produced by Patrick Nichols, the video follows a photographer as he makes his way through essentially a modern ghost town. Exploring abandoned gas stations and upholstery shops, the video mirrors Matthew Squires’ forlorn acoustic guitar and melancholic lyrics. - Surviving The Golden Age

"December 2014 Comics, Poetry, and Reviews from LMNOP aka dONW7"

Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders - Where The Music Goes To Die (Independently released CD-R, Pop)

This is a true independent release, created with the visuals and ideas from the 1980s and 1990s. The disc is a CD-R with handwritten information and the cardboard cover was created by hand. The specifics of the physical release are a good indication of the music created by Matthew Squires. This is not super slick twenty-first century pop created to sound perfect. These songs feature music written by a real human being and they were created out of a desire to make music and entertain rather than a desire to become rich and famous. As such, many folks may be surprised at how much commercial potential these songs have. Instead of sounding like a difficult underground artist, Squires writes songs that could be appreciated by just about anyone who loves good guitar pop. The humorously-titled Where The Music Goes To Die features twelve smart tracks. These songs contain smooth memorable melodies and intelligent lyrics...and they are delivered with personality and style. We particularly love Matthew's voice. He sings with a cool confidence while never sounding forced or fake. Plenty of groovy cuts here including "Echo," "American Trash," "Plato's Cave," and "All We've Got." - BabySue


Austin-based group Matthew Squires And The Learning Disorders go through ever-changing lineups based around the songwriting of Matthew Squires. The band readies for the release of new album Where The Music Goes To Die and offers lead single “Echo” for free download. The song is soft-rock gold with a bit of a reggae feel. It’s calm and relaxing but still has its intense moments. Download it below. - MAGNET Magazine

"Notes from Left of the Dial: Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders and more"

Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders, "Echo"

Depending on how you look at it, Austin, Texas, singer-songwriter Matthew Squires is either mired in the center of a rhythmic conflagration of sound and noise, or he's the grand conductor of an insular musical vision that has roots in folk and early indie rock aesthetics. Either way, the music he creates under the Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders moniker is a fascinating and intricate view into the hearts of a handful of genres. Drawing inspiration from bands like The Mountain Goats, Daniel Johnston and Clem Snide, he easily articulates how each of these musical foundations interacts and melds with one another.

On recent single "Echo," he—along with his intuitive backing band—has created a shimmering, vibratory ode to the wonders of music. It sticks to the inside of your brain and wraps your thoughts in tangled knots of words and noise. The guitars bounce and shimmy against his twisting vocals, and the melody is drawn up in the atmosphere as the song culminates in a crashing cathartic release. It might be tempting to concede his ability to channel his influences, but simply relegating this song to the sum of its inspirations would be doing it and Squires a great disservice. -

"Matthew Squires and The Learning Disorders release "Echo" from the Upcoming Album "Where The Music Goes To Die""

The brand new single "Echo" from Matthew Squires and The Learning Disorders bristles with percolating bright guitar lines and Squires celebratory vocals. Squires often turns his verbose lyrical melodies into a carnival mirror of sorts, his meanings bent and twisted at will. A term of endearment can morph into a sharp bite, a fond memory into a sardonic parable. "Echo" is the first look at his upcoming album "Where The Music Goes To Die" due to drop on December 2nd.
Robb Donker - American Pancake

"New Album From Matthew Squires & The Learning Disorders"

Founded in Austin in 2012, Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders is an ever-evolving project, centered around the penetrating songs of young singer-songwriter Matthew Squires.

Their new album, titled Where The Music Goes To Die, is certainly a step up from anything that has gone before. Vocals are much calmer and controlled and a fuller range of (still off-kilter and unique) songwriting is on full display as well, with lines that are often as funny as they are heartbreaking. The styles and influences of the arrangements vary from track to track, always surprising you with an idiosyncratic twist on an old standard. The psychedelic breakdown in the middle of the honkey-tonk inspired titular track is a perfect example of this.

Listen/download Echo which might be the best thing he’s done to date. The album is out on the 2nd December. See our previous Matthew Squires post here. - The Mad Mackerel

"Daily Downloads (James Apollo, Matthew Squires, and more)"

Daily Downloads (James Apollo, Matthew Squires, and more)

Every day, Daily Downloads offers 10 free and legal mp3 downloads.

Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

James Apollo: Trim Another Tree / Ho Ho, Ho Hum holiday single [mp3]

The Kickback: "When I Die [mp3]

Limited: "Times Square Poet" [mp3] from Empire Parasite MP3s EP

Lonestar Sailing: Lonestar Sailing album [mp3]

The Marks Cartel: "Where Do I Go?" [mp3] from Curtain Call (out February 23rd)

Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders: "Echo" [mp3] from Where The Music Goes to Die

A Moviescript Ending: Everything We Can't Leave Behind album [mp3]

Swedish Revolution: "Silent Night (Christmas Ambient Dance)" [mp3]

Various Artists: Flannelgraph Records Winter Sampler 2014​/​2015 album [mp3] - Largehearted Boy

"Out Of Focus: Matthew Squires, Good Field, Kydd Jones"

On his new song “The Giving,” Matthew Squires seems to have reconfigured himself as a twangy indie chronicler of small town disintegration, like Phil Elverum fronting Modest Mouse, heartsick lyrics sung with choked back longing not for any specific era, just times long gone on the whole. The video for the track makes that more literal as director Patrick Nichols depicts the melancholic adventures of a 21st century Walker Evans, finding art in the wastelands of small towns on their way towards consumption by an unspecified metropolis. The photographer protagonist sets up impromptu dark rooms in anonymous motels off major highways, shooting portraits of rural decay then burying them in shallow graves in empty lots, to be discovered or built over or forgotten in some other way. Like Evans’ real life photography, “The Giving” isn’t tragic, it’s merely haunting, a reminder of the subtler ways time advances without our knowing. - Ovrld

"Matthew Squires & The Learning Disorders impress on latest LP ‘Where the Music Goes to Die’"

‘Where the Music Goes to Die’
Matthew Squires & The Learning Disorders (Already Dead Tapes)
4 stars out of 5

Matthew Squires & The Learning Disorders have only been together a couple years, but the terrific “Where the Music Goes to Die” marks their fourth release since 2013. The band really comes into their own on this 12-track gathering of psych-tinged indie folk.

Squires is a dynamic singer/songwriter and is the dominating presence on “Where the Music Goes to Die.” He’s composed an album’s worth of uniformly strong tunes that figure to raise the Austin, Texas-based outfit’s profile considerably.

While you’d be hard-pressed to find a bad song in the 44-minute bunch, Squires & The Learning Disorders shine particularly bright on keepers “Echo,” “Trophy Song,” “American Trash,” the title track, “Plato’s Cave,” “Some Corny Love Song (Devotional #2)” and “A Strange Piece.” I can’t wait to hear more from this up-and-coming band. (Jeffrey Sisk) - Pittsburgh In Tune


Odd and enchanting, Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders‘ “The Giving” is like a light to your butterfly. You can’t help the attraction. Sad horns, street noises, false starts and quietly murmured lyrics prove to be unusually hypnotic. The track will likely appeal to fans of Modest Mouse, and it’s one that is sort of a one-off for Squires as he does not plan to release it on an upcoming LP. He intimates, “I might end up putting this song with a few of the others that won’t fit onto an album into a lo-fi EP, but it depends on how much time I have to do that.” We hope you have time, Matthew, because this track is great.

You’ll probably want to delve deeper into their catalog, which is fairly deep with recent pay-what-you-want releases on Bandcamp. - The Dadada

"The Best Albums of 2014 That No One Told You About"

#1 Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders – Where The Music Goes To Die (self-released)
I happened upon Matthew Squires in mid-2014 at a house concert that I was attending to see another songwriter. Squires did a short set and I fell in love with his quirky, poetic lyrics and his off-the-wall vocal timbre. As quickly as I could, I consumed all the Matthew Squires music that I could, and pre-ordered his new one, Where The Music Goes To Die. I get lost listening to Squires’ lyrics, and often find myself almost hypnotized by his voice and music. (“Much better than Cats. I want to see it again and again.” Please tell me you get that reference.) I mean, I can just pull a random lyric from the record, and be blown away. Like this from the title track:

I tried hard to be some kind of mystic. I ended up a man in love with himself.
The more I look, the more I seem to miss it. My poverty is my only source of wealth.
It don’t run out.

Or this from “A Strange Place”:

And everyone I’ve met has been an arrow, pointing me to where I need to go.
Everyone I’ve met has been an arrow, piercing me right down into my bones.
Like those punk rock, suburban girls with their Betty Boop, cartoon-curls, and their bouquets of neon light.
They sip from the flask of night.

If you have been looking for some challenging concepts in musical creation coupled with philosophical and poetic musings on life, satisfy yourself with a copy of Where The Music Goes To Die. (BUY AT AMAZON) - Americana Music Times

"Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders - Where the Music Goes to Die"

From time to time I get an email from Already Dead Tape. I always have a listen to the link, mostly for a few seconds.
But, as often, since Already Dead Tape is a very good label, choosing their artists among the most talented they get in touch with, I often have a very good time listening to Already Dead Tapes releases, and, quite often, I feel motivated enough to write a review here.

This is now the case for this album, that you can buy for a small price, which is simply excellent.

A large smile came on my face when listening to the second track, and I knew that I would have to review it here.

The three things that seduced me the most in this release, talking about the music performers, where the sharp and clean-sounded guitars, the voice full of emotion, and this violin always pertinent without being too present.

I also liked the very nice production, just sufficiently lofi to be pleasant.

But the most interesting point of the album, despite of the very interesting quality of the arrangements,is certainly its pop/rock songwriting quality, with an overall very good approach of what music should be, according to my own taste. I think, if you are reading this post, that yours are similar, that's why I strongly suggest you to scroll back to the top of this page and to stream the entire album, which is available so, from the link I indicated.

I don't think that I am talking in vain. This album is very good, and I'll probably make any friend coming to my home listen to it for the next few months. It is an unique blend of indie, pop and rock aesthetics, that is highly enjoyable and should be liked by most people fond of these kinds of music.

Definitively, an album that you should listen to, and that will probably be on your side for many more years. - Underketing

"Austin Spotlight: Matthew Squires and Learning Disorders"

Matthew Squires and Learning Disorders jumped into the Austin music scene in 2012, crafting their own blend of acoustic-influenced pop music. This week the group announced that they’ll be releasing a brand new record, Where the Music Goes to Die. Musically, there’s this obvious brightness, from the bouncing of the guitar work to the defined airy quality of Squires’ voice. Lyrically, there seems to be this incredible bit of honesty from the artist, or any artist for that matter. The lyrics show a song that’s presented as is…there’s no pretense, it might not even be complete, it’s just the perfect capturing of a musician’s work in time. You’ll be able to grab their new album on December 2nd. - Austin Town Hall

"November MP3s: Sing Yr Song"

Here’s November’s singles, over the next few days.

Sing Yr Song

1. “Echo” – Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders. Some people have the greatness inside them, and it’s present in flashes that don’t reveal the whole thing. That was Squires’ previous work, and “Echo” is the revelation: the yelpy vocals, the singer/songwriter lyrics, and propulsive indie-rock arrangements all come together to give me shivers. Color me thrilled for the new album. - Independent Clauses

"Matthew Squires shares takeaway show video"

Matthew Squires and The Learning Disorders is one of the most remarkable things going on in folk music right now. You can now see this witty singer-songwriter from Austin, Texas potentially at his best in a new set of acoustic performances filmed for his very own Takeaway show video.

Teaming up with friend and cellist Joey Reyes, the indie-pop artist goes through stripped-back renditions of brand new songs "Where The Music Goes To Die", "A Work In Progress" and "Trophy Song". All are played, recorded and shot beside the mannequins of an under-construction shop, with heart and soul running off the strings throughout.

Matthew's most recent album, You Are Everything or: The Art of Being Nothing in Particular, is out now with a follow-up to begin production in the summer. For now you can follow the daily antics of Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders at his Facebook page, and see his Takeaway Show video below. - Drunken Werewolf

"Matthew Squires & The Learning Disorders - Take Away Show"

By know you guys know how I feel about Matthew Squires and The Learning Disorders, they are the fucking dreamiest bro bro. Yesterday Matthew sent me a video of the band performing a Take Away Show at STILL&SEA in Austin Tx.

It is as creepy as it is sensual. SENSUCREEP! - SYFFAL

"Our Interview with Matthew Squires of Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders"

One of the best things/worst things about running a music site is the amount of music that lands on your desk; it is like owning a record store. That new new is constantly pouring in, I am talking anywhere from 100-300 new albums a week. The law of averages says there has to be at least a few gems in there right? That has been the hidden blessing of running SYFFAL; the daily reminder that music (in the larger sense of the way people talk about music as a living entity) has never been better.

Unfortunately it has also never been worse or more populated.

A lot of times you feel like you are a picker, one of those assholes that drives around the country looking through other people's shit with the hopes of finding some hidden treasure. Lots of heavy lifting but when you find that rarity, that beautiful treasure it makes all that hillbilly smell and hoarder creepiness worth it.

Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorder are that once in a lifetime find.

Their stellar album You Are Everything or: The Art of Being Nothing In Particular is my very own mint condition Honus Wagner, the reason we do what we do. The band /album that reaches out to you through all the collective dismay, disillusionment, and exhaustion; somehow getting you to click on their bandcamp link when all you want to do is go to bed; then pulling you in and ruining any chances of sleep.

It is all luck of the drawer really and I feel extremely lucky that the planets lined up, and I was fortunate enough to spend some quality time with these beautiful jerks. Thank you Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders for sharing You Are Everything or: The Art of Being Nothing In Particular.

It seriously moves me.

I was recently fortunate enough to sit down with Matthew Squires and discuss his music, the Learning Disorders, life, plans, etc.

Our interview with Matthew Squires of Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders fame starts now!

SYFFAL: I have spent my days walking the earth looking for the sound that best describes the awkward romantic with a hint of paranoia and OCD that lives inside my mind and I finally found it in your music. Yet despite all this I know nothing about you, so let’s cut the crap, and get through the courting so we can finally settle into our sensual days bro. Let’s start with this; who the Fuck are you guys?

Matthew Squires (MS): First off, thank you for all the kind words and support. I'm Matthew. I write songs and I let whoever wants to assist me to do so. There are a handful of people who always seem to be there. They are good friends and great musicians. I've put out three albums over the last year, the last of which you and others have liked a lot, which has been kind of interesting to me, because for the longest time, I've had a very difficult time getting people to care about much of anything I do. I'm convinced that this is because I don't have a very cool haircut.

SYFFAL: You are right, your haircut sucks, but you finally made an album that outperformed that atrocity on your head. Who does what in the band?

MS: I write the songs and mostly play rhythm guitar. I try to have a kind of "open door" policy, where people can play if they want and leave if they want. I suppose this is the case for any band, in an ultimate kind of way, but that was the explicit intention when I started the Learning Disorders. With that said, my friends James Lavery and Gianni Sarmiento are always there. James plays guitar, and Gianni plays bass. They've been playing with me in different failed attempts at bands for years. They're tremendously talented people. On that most recent album you liked, another guy, named Cameron Scanlon, played synth and keyboard. There's a dude named Joey Reyes who plays wonderful cello parts, and a guy named Marcus Rubio who plays a little bit of everything in the world, and he did most of the string arrangements and a few other things, here and there, on the album. For drums, we mostly approached them all together, with James, Gianni, and Cameron all giving input. I also have a friend named Ray Flynt who laid down drums on a couple of the tracks.

SYFFAL: Quite the collective, where are you from and how would you describe your sound?

MS: I'm from Austin, Texas. I always say I write pop music. As trite as it may sound, I think part of the charm of my sound is that it is difficult to fit into a singular category. I've always hated the term "Singer-songwriter", so I hope I'm not that. My stuff is truthful. That's my main intention when writing - to get in touch or to at least try to get in touch, with the source of my life. It sounds kinda pretentious or hokey when I write it out like that. But that's what I'm doing, and there's no other way to say it. By getting in touch with this extremely intimate ground, I dissolve a bit, and what remains (when it's the good stuff, anyway) is this thing which I didn't really have too much to do with.

SYFFAL: I get it, sometimes writing music is the only way to truly understand one’s self, but serious, what the Fuck is up with the long names for fucking everything bro?

MS: I'm not sure why everything has a long name. I'd like to pretend that it's some kind of act of protest towards this tendency our culture has to try and economize everything, to make ourselves totally lost in a sea of convenience; this tendency to make slogans and pretend that the world isn't this ambiguous, exhausting, messy miracle, to try and quantify the heart, and to drown out that deep longing which we so seldom feel comfortable disclosing to one another.

But in reality, I think that I have very little marketing sense, that I enjoy the sound of my own voice, and that I am long-winded to a fault. My Facebook statuses are extremely long, like little essays. It's embarrassing. I've almost definitely lost a ton of potentially wonderful friendships, due to this incapacity on my part to edit, or to just get to the point. I was once heckled off the stage of a dear friend's funeral because of it. I had it coming, too.

SYFFAL: Yeah you probably did. Speaking of you and the Learning Disorders, how did you come together? Are you the Bruce Springsteen to their E. Street Band, or are you more a real collective that writes, works, sleeps, eats, spoons, smells each other’s farts in the van, etc type deal?

MS: Much closer to the latter. I had this really debilitating addiction to Ritalin and the like. So did my mother. We both went totally off the deep end, she worse so than me. It was extremely painful, and I hurt a lot of very generous and kind people in the process, so I think the choice of the name was in some ways an offering of forgiveness from one part of me to another part of me. I also think the name's kinda funny. The moniker is really just for me and whoever wants to help. The live band is currently composed of me, those two dudes I mentioned earlier (James and Gianni) and my long-time pal Philip Woodbury. The band always seems to expand and contract. I can't keep anything in my life in order and the band is just another example of that, most of the songs function in such a way that they can adapt very well to the input of anyone who would be kind enough to help me out. But I don't usually play alone. The songs are almost always nurtured into maturity by others.

SYFFAL: When I reviewed your unbelievably perfect album You Are Everything or: The Art of Being Nothing In Particular I said:

It is this delightful hidden gem full of all sorts of weirdness that is perfectly moving. It is almost like the Dead Milkmen and They Might Be Giants decided to settle down with Jeff Buckley type of singer songwriter; you know one of those bastards that has the rare ability to redefine the world by mixing a gorgeous turn of phrase with the perfect chord progression and a knowing smirk, thusly explaining the meaning of life and providing a perfect coda to that mixtape you made yourself to help you through your existential angst.

Is that what you were going for? Or did I miss the point entirely?

MS: As for the quote, that was very nice of you to say that! I haven't heard much of the bands you referenced, though I like the few things I have heard. I think you have gotten from the music something which has seemed to touch you deeply, and for that, I'm very grateful. I wouldn't claim to know the meaning of life, but the songs seem to have a capacity to help people get in touch with the reality of their own lives, which (in my view, anyway) is much more worthwhile than trying to pin down what exactly life itself is.

SYFFAL: You are making me misty bro. Speaking of getting misty, what really makes you cry? For me it is watching kids perform, it can be music or sports or dancing whatever, there is something so pure and passionate about it, it is the kind of thing that you never see with adults, just doing it because you love it and it makes you happy. I fucking weep bro.

MS: The last time I deeply wept, I was reading a book called, "Zen Confidential: Confessions of a Wayward Monk". It is the most gorgeous thing I've ever read it and it came out recently and I highly recommend it. It's a collection of very funny and very irreverent and very poignant essays by a Zen monk in the Rinzai tradition. Leonard Cohen did a brief forward. It brought about the thing which always makes me weep, which is the realization that I am alone and that everyone around me is alone, and that there is this tremendous opportunity in that aloneness to reach out towards and to truly embrace one another.

SYFFAL: I am on Amazon right now! If you had to describe your influences, and since this is an interview introducing you to an entirely new audience you do, who would be the top 3 and if they were all at a key party together who would be the host, who would be the reluctant spouse trying to save their marriage, and who would be the one who can't make any eye contact?

MS: Leonard Cohen, Daniel Johnston, and Jeff Mangum are probably the three songwriters who have had the most thorough impact on my music. Leonard Cohen would be the host and the reluctant spouse. Jeff Mangum would avoid eye contact. Daniel Johnston would be performing. I know I broke the rules, and I'm sorry.

SYFFAL: Our site started out as friends sharing music, our goal is to shine a light on bands we find to be amazing, but aren’t getting exposure. In this spirit, who are three bands that are under the radar and that you feel deserve hella more attention?

MS: Most of the music I listen to is the stuff that my friends make, and even that is hard to keep up with. My bassist's band is called Crocodile and it's really good. He's a really great pop songwriter, himself.

There's this guy named Greg Mullen, and he's probably my favorite songwriter in a somewhat similar vain to what I do. His band is called Greg Mullen and the Cosmic American Band. They put out a record recently that was really wild. His stuff is brutal.

And then there's a guy named Marcus Rubio, who I mentioned earlier, and he makes really intelligent and well-crafted pop songs. He also does a lot of experimental music that's pretty great if you're into that kind of stuff. He's definitely a musical genius of some kind. There are lots of people and bands I'm not mentioning and I hate that, but those are the first three that came to mind.

SYFFAL: SYFFAL readers, you now have homework. So what is next for you guys? Tours, more music, cock fighting? Talk to me Broan Rivers!

MS: I'm doing my first tour in July. I'll be doing a stripped down thing with that Marcus Rubio guy, and he'll be playing his songs as well. Then at some point soon after that, I will record my next album. I've been writing a lot of really really great stuff that I'm excited about. In the meantime, I've got a couple more videos I'll be releasing.

SYFFAL: Please promote whatever you would like.

MS: At the risk of sounding like some kind of hokey idiot, I highly recommend being kind. And if that's difficult for you, then I recommend looking into that difficulty in an honest and compassionate and thorough way. I think our world is in dire need of some kindness. We're all on our way out, it will be over extremely quickly, and there's really no point in wasting what little time we have here on the kind of bullshit we tend to waste it on.

SYFFAL: Jesus you sound like a hokey idiot and I fucking love you for it. Thanks for taking the time to chat with us. For all things Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders check the links below: - SYFFAL

"Watch Matthew Squires Perform Show to an Adoring Crowd of Mannequins"

I like what Matthew Squires is doing. Squires creates nasally, off-kilter acoustic pop songs that embrace the complexity of life, tackling terror and joy head-on. His songs are catchy and cute, but more often I find myself entirely impressed by Squire’s character and persona. Although the music is sure to have its detractors, Squires’ songs are undeniably honest and emotionally present. You’ll find no posturing here. This week, Squires shared a takeaway show, filmed and recorded by John Valley, Cordelaine Kline, and Tyler Speicher. The show takes place at Still & Sea and features an incredibly attentive and respectfully quiet audience. Watch below. - Pop Press International

"Austin Music Minute - At The Heart"

What a fantastic treat for your weekend! Four bands, loads of local talent, all in one night, at a most lovely night spot at 86 Rainey St. – and it’s free. That’s correct. Free. You can see all of these bands tonight at The Blackheart:

- Funk, soul and rock? Sign me up. Make way for bad mamma-jammas The Bus Stop Stallions.

- “I say neat things sometimes.” You do, indeed, Matthew. Gorgeous, stripped-down pop/folk rock courtesy of Matthew Squires and The Learning Disorders.

- The gripping saga of the Outlaw Opry continues with the grandest of storytellers, MARYANN. (swoon)

- Katie, Courtney and Erin weave their melodic magic as folk trio The Villettes.

Don’t forget – this show is free. Your favorite price. Doors open at 8 p.m. Recommended goodness for your soul. - KUTX (Local NPR)

"Matthew Squires shares video for “The Turnings of the Earth”"

Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders has brought more of the same idiosyncratic yet enchanting approach we admired in our introducing article on them, with a new video for his song "The Turnings of the Earth (and Other Observations)".

The Austen folk artist-led-band's new vid was shot by fellow Texan Erik Gatling, and shows the visually skewed romantic interactions of a bare-foot ballerina and a masked man who loves his nature walks. Classic courtship this may not be, but it is thoroughly enthralling.

You can stream "The Turnings of the Earth (and Other Observations)"'s video below, and at Matthew Squires' facebok page. - Drunken Werewolf

"Matthew Squires and The Learning Disorders - The Turnings of the Earth (and Other Observations)"

Bro, Matthew Squires and The Learning Disorders are like a 100 lbs bag of sensual drainage gravel for your soul. If The Turnings of the Earth (and Other Observations) doesn't make you want to run out and marry your 2nd cousin twice removed just because you still get a tingle in your jorts over the way they ate bombpops back on those humid summer nights betweeen 7th & 8th grades; than you sir or madam are not alive and most certainly not of this planet.

These fuckers are like that strawberry scented warming lube that you blow on for best results; if you could lube up your heart for a night of rare entry and rough trade. - SYFFAL

"Video: Matthew Squires – “The Turnings of the Earth (and Other Observations)”"

Matthew Squires and his band The Learning Disorders have been quietly churning out an impressive number of videos for their odd yet charming, quirky folk-pop songs. Squires has the ability to write songs that come across as completely sincere, and when held up next to most bands in Austin’s current scene, are markedly and bravely divergent. While earlier tracks have evoked heart-on-sleeve DIY acts like Paul Baribeau, Jason Anderson, or Kimya Dawson, Squires’ newest video and song, “The Turnings of the Earth (and Other Observations)” employs Talking Heads-esque synths as it sprawls out ambitiously over five minutes. I like the band more with each new song they release. Watch “The Turnings of the Earth (and Other Observations)” above. - Pop Press International

"The Week in Pop: An all-music edition"

The last time I did an all-music edition of The Week in Pop, you guys really seemed to dig it, so I'm doing it again!

There's so much amazing stuff out right now, and many of these artists have been on very heavy rotation in my cubicle. I hope you'll discover something new that you love, and of course your recommendations are always appreciated via Twitter (#heywhit), e-mail ( or the comments below.

In no particular order, these go to 11:


10. A Song for a Future Phoenix, Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders. Matthew contacted me personally to see if I'd like to hear his music, which he describes as "somewhere between Leonard Cohen and Neutral Milk Hotel, with a splash of Daniel Johnston." I'm so glad he reached out.

... - USA Today

"Album Reviews: Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders - You Are Everything or: The Art of Being Nothing in Particular"

I have this thing I do when a song or album resonates and really connects with me; it involves drinking heavily, walking around with my headphones on and singing along with all of my heart thrown into that fucker. It's not incredibly novel or even nice to look at; my voice is absolute shit and 9 times out of 10 I don't know the lyrics well enough to actually sing along so it's all pregnant pauses, mumbles and the occasionally recognizable phrase from X, Y or Z song.

It is really part of my process of digesting and falling in love with a song/artist/album. Most of the songs in my iTunes do not make it into this rarified category, but the few that do, well those fuckers reduce me to tears every time I repeat this exercise. Matthew Squires and The Learning Disorders killer album You Are Everything Or: The Art of Being Nothing In Particular has worked its way into this exclusive club.

It is this delightful hidden gem full of all sorts of weirdness that is perfectly moving. It is almost like the Dead Milkmen and They Might Be Giants decided to settle down with Jeff Buckley type of singer songwriter; you know one of those bastards that has the rare ability to redefine the world by mixing a gorgeous turn of phrase with the perfect chord progression and a knowing smirk, thusly explaining the meaning of life and providing a perfect coda to that mixtape you made yourself to help you through your existential angst.

You Are Everything Or: The Art of Being Nothing In Particular is filled with all sorts of wonder, on first listen it feels like a bunch of weirdos who can write the shit out of some songs but the more you listen the more you realize that these fuckers have it all figured out but don't realize it yet because they are like 23 and are still working out all their own shit like everyone else.

Listening to Matthew Squires and The Learning Disorders is like sitting at the feet of the Buddha if the Buddha was Crispin Glover. Once you get through the twitching you the off kilter voice you release you are in the thick of it. You can site back, soak in the sounds and become zenned the Fuck out while becoming one with the universe. - SYFFAL

"Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders"

Constantly creating new music, Matthew Squires and The Learning Disorders can also be found playing live. On listening to the material, the audience is given the distinct impression that they are sharing in the excoriation of the meandering thought processes and dreams of Matthew as the material sweeps across vast swathes of context.

There is a sense of lightness and confusion that is delivered in the wrapping of electronic and acoustic instruments, each piece delivering something unexpected, and it is those joyous strides of disconnection that gives the material that floats around the room. Like a sage delivering wise questions there is a prophetic feel to the outpourings with the almost chanted lyrics. The whole effect being slightly jarring whilst simultaneously cathartic.

Matthew Squires and The Learning Disorders is not about inventive music, rather inventive free-thinking, and as such it works a treat. I have little doubt that the style and presentation will divide audiences, but if you get into it, then like me, you won’t understand why everyone else doesn’t revel in the sounds. - Emerging Indie Bands

"Album Review: "You Are Everything or: The Art of Being Nothing in Particular" by Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders"

Matthew Squires and The Learning Disorders hail from Austin, Texas. On A Song For a Future Phoenix from their second album You Are Everything or The Art of Being Nothing In Particular, Squires sings: "Child, don't dream of a world you can't see, rather, inspect the one that you're in.... shouting, 'I stand alone on the Earth we call home looking for a God I can trust.' " and on the chorus: "But to be a phoenix, you first must become ash. And that fire's been lit, so stop trying to clutch the past, my friend." Like many of the songs on this album, the song bounces merrily along with a winking vocal performance. It almost reminds me of the cheeky Brit style of some early Kinks songs. As the music bops like indie pop, the lyrics are poetically grounded and actually say something.

These songs are smart and cleverly crafted comments about us. Sometimes Matthew turns phrases into sharp edged salt to rub into society's collective wounded soul. In Lovesick Lullaby, he sings: "And I would not say I'm wise. I've just seen with my two eyes, stronger swimmers than you drowning in Heineken." and later: "And I cannot think of one thing beyond celebrity-gossip magazines and a sense of unending hunger that unites this nation." It is not all sharp reflections in the the mirror. In Claim Your Birthright, amidst a spartan piano, he tosses in obtuse lyrics sung in a disjointed way, as a woman's voice sings the refrain, "my stomach is swelling up", but it ultimately sounds kind of beautiful and inspirational (albeit in a sad way).

The third track, The Turnings of the Earth (and Other Observations) probably has the most upbeat feel but the message can still feel dour to me. Full of self revelations, the first lyrics may be the albums touchstone, "This whole god dam world is a mirror. I tried my best to turn away from it. I was ashamed of it, I guess." Pain seems to be exorcised amidst the bright guitars, jagged composition and "ooohs and aaaahs" ending with the line "If there's one thing I've learned, it's that this Earth just turns for itself."

"You Are Everything or The Art of Being Nothing In Particular" is a heavy weight of music. It is not the type of album you would put on in the car as you head out for a Sunday drive with the family, especially if you are traversing mountain roads, and especially if you have any suicidal tendencies. Matthew Squires is an adept songwriter whose musical wit is sharp, maybe sometimes too sharp. I must say that I am not sure if I feel I know him any better from this album except his belief the world is pretty fucked up and I already know this. Two songs that do feel like they have seeds of hope amidst the inner turmoil are We Are Donkeys and An Ancient Voice. Both are thoroughly moving and beautifully carry words that pull back the twinges of smart sarcasm and replace it with pure complex emotion. In the end, this album carries for me a bit of frustration but ultimately wins me over. I hope you dive into it's dark inkwell. - American Pancake

"Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders: How to Not Be A Computer"

Did you know that computers are physically incapable of making mistakes?* They complete patterns exactly as they are told or refuse to do them at all. There is no partial or halfway with computers: a thing completes perfectly or fails totally. 1 or 0. This is one of many reasons why In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is such a huge, important statement: in an era where we can turn the human messiness into pitch-perfection via machine, it is a countercultural move to celebrate the human mess. It is in this spirit that I fell in love with Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders.

You Are Everything or: The Art of Being Nothing in Particular lets you know what’s going to happen before the music even starts: naming your band “The Learning Disorders” takes a wry and self-deprecating sense of humor, while referencing a Rumi poem and existential ennui in the title lets you know more about the personality powering these songs. Then that goofy/wonderful album art lets you know this is going to be a lo-fi, DIY, personal sort of record. And Matthew Squires delivers on all of that: this is the sort of music that can only be called indie-rock, that sort of music that hardly existed except perhaps in the imagination of The Velvet Underground before the lo-fi ’90s came along and got themselves culminated in Jeff Mangum and co.

Yes, this is raw, quirky, unusual, wholly irresistible music. “An Ancient Voice” pairs Squires’ unique voice against a plaintive, reverb-laden fingerpicking pattern to deliver lines of existential glee and terror: “a miracle more common than a clump of dirt / Yours is a life that’s lived and died as one eternal search / Tell me what it is you seek / and is that message heavy or are my ears weak?” When he intones, “this life is happening” in his speak-sing tones, it’s tough to forget. “The Turnings of the Earth (And Other Observations)” puts a Graceland-esque pop spin on the indie-rock sound, while “A Song for a Future Phoenix” delivers a strong arrangement. The repeated call of “we’re going home!” in “We Are Donkeys” gives me a catch in my throat.

But my favorite moment comes in “Claim Your Birthright!”, where Squires’ voice reaches for a high note in a moment of passion, hollering out “I-i, hope you forgive the whole world.” It doesn’t quite make it up there to that first note; but instead of being horrible, it charmingly underscores the deep humanity of the sentiment. We’re not computers. We make partial perfection, occasional wonderfulness, and incomplete beauty. But that, to me, is more real and excellent than “perfection” that we can achieve with autotuning. It helps that Squires is an excellent songwriter; these songs are memorable and poignant in their construction, even without the endearing, passionate performances. But when strong songs, clever arrangements, and memorable performances come together, magic can happen. And You Are Everything has some very magical moments.

*A friend noted that computers can actually make mistakes in memory called “soft errors.” I feel my point, however, holds: humans are a lot squishier than computers in terms of straight logic. - Independent Clauses

"Daily Downloads"

Every day, Daily Downloads offers 10 free and legal mp3 downloads, plus free and legal live sets from around the internet.

Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

Barton Carroll: "Every Little Bit Hurts" [mp3] from Avery County
Barton Carroll: "The Straight Mile" [mp3] from Avery County

Christopher Paul Stelling: "Free to Go" [mp3] from False Cities

Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders: You Are Everything or: The Art of Being Nothing in Particular album [mp3]

Meiko: "Wonderful Christmas" [mp3]

The New Royales: "Fell in Love with a Girl" [mp3]

The Northwest Man: The album [mp3]

Rigbi: "It's Elementary" [mp3]

Ryan VanDordrecht: "Hard Lover" [mp3] from

Simon Felice: "Molly-O!" [mp3] from Strangers - Largehearted Boy

"Top 50 Austin Albums of 2013"

Over the course of 2013, we’ve reviewed over 100 EPs, LPs and singles. We’ve covered dozens of live shows, premiered a handful of new videos and interviewed some of our favorite local artists. All in the name of making the Austin music scene accessible to as many of you as possible. Culled from hundreds of submissions over the course of the year, these are our 50 favorite Austin songs (limit: one per artist) of the last year.

Matthew Squires draws from the Elephant 6 team for inspiration across his third LP of 2013. Playful lyrics venture into an confessional forest on standouts like “A Song For A Future Phoenix” and “Lovesick Lullaby.” The Learning Disorders sing along and wonderfully complement Matt’s songwriting. You Are Everything plainly illustrates the incredible growth the group has undergone in just this year alone, and suggests nothing but good things from Matt and the gang in 2014. – Antonio Delgado - Ovrld

"STOP SLEEPING: SITH, Pale Grey, Matthew Squires and The Learning Disorders"

When Matthew Squires and The Learning Disorders weirdly beautiful album You Are Everything Or: The Art of Being Nothing In Particular came across the Syffal teletext I was tickled by the naming conventions of these seemingly art school types. I half expected to click on the YouTube like, puke up my liquid lunch and move on to my liquid afternoon snack. That would not be the case, no these delightful bags of jag blew me the Fuck away. Sure Matthew Squires voice is a little of beat but it is still fucking gorgeous and full of wonderful pain and feels mentally fragile in the best way possible. Musically the Learning Disorders are genius. They create these luscious pillows of amazing that cup your balls while whispering "everything will come up roses for you Donnie". It is beautifully comfortable and well constructed. A perfect companion for Matthew Squires quicktastic timber, which in itself is a fine curve ball for what are perfectly crafted and richly textured lyrical lyrics as the indie rappers in the 1990s say. You Are Everything Or: The Art of Being Nothing In Particular is a wonderful year end surprise that may have snuck in just under the deadline to make my year end list. Thank you Matthew Squires and The Learning Disorders for bringing me an unending source of joy to help me get through the hellscape that is the American holiday season. - SYFFAL

"Introducing: Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders"

Based in Austin but coming out of an ethereal plane of otherworldly singer songwriter goodness, Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders are here to regain confidence in the weird folk genre.

Squires began making music under his own name in 2012. He quotes everyone from Leonard Cohen to, err, Leonard Cohen as an influence. Elsewhere you’ll find echoes of Eef Barzelay and Jeff Mangum in his music.

Squires' sound has all been compiled in one handy space by way of his BandCamp released sophomore album. You Are Everything or: The Art of Being Nothing in Particular is an auditory joy from start to finish, documenting a rising talent from the roads of America. Squires recruited faces familiar to the Austin scene to record the full length, amercing himself in his local scene while doing so.

Check out lead song “A Song for the Future of Phoenix” below and find out more about Matthew Squires here. - Drunken Werewolf Magazine

"Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders – A Song for a Future Phoenix"

‘A Song for a Future Phoenix’ is taken from Austin, Texas outfit Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders’ second full length album, You Are Everything or: The Art of Being Nothing in Particular. The record is available for name-your-price download from Bandcamp. - Inforty Music Zine

"Video: Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders – “Song for a Future Phoenix”"

As with any music blog, we receive a tremendous amount of unsolicited emails and submissions. However, perhaps none have been so adorably strange or earnest as those we sometimes receive from Matthew Squires. Squires just released a new album earlier this month under the moniker Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders, and now he’s sharing the first video to emerge from that collection of songs.

The strange, nighttime, fireside video for “Song for a Future Phoenix” features eerie make-up and burning skulls. However, it works conjointly with a song that encourages forward progress and rebirth. As we have seen with Squires before, the songwriter has a penchant for embracing both the joy and misery of life. “To be a phoenix you first must become ash,” he sings, “and that fire has been lit so stop trying to clutch the past, my friend.” With his rocked up folk and nasally vocals, Squires shares a musical kinship with artists such as Jason Anderson, Kimya Dawson, or Paul Baribeau. Watch “Song for a Future Phoenix” below. - Pop Press International

"Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders Shares “The Heretical Physics,” Launches Kickstarter"

Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders' new video for “The Heretical Physics,” which is directed By John Valley and produced By Tyler Speicher, Cordelaine Kline, and Max Kruemcke, features delightfully whimsical stop-motion animation. The song itself recalls the uplifting heart-on-sleeve honesty found in the music of Jason Anderson, Kimya Dawson, or Paul Baribeau. If you like those musicians, there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself falling fast in love with Matthew Squires.

Squires is soon planning to be at work on another EP and has just launched a Kickstarter campaign. The promo video for it is one of the more awkward and oddball Kickstarter videos we’ve seen, so head over to that page right here and see if you can come up with a few dollars to support the recording of his new EP. - Pop Press International

"The New 5-16-2013"

Extremely likable and unassuming Texan that works with lots of different collaborators. Of his music, Matt says, “I think, all things considered, the songs I write are much more listenable than the songs I don’t write.” - The Dadada Music Blog


We featured Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders, along with their single “The Arcade,” in April’s issue of Back of the Rack. The eclectic group has since released the official music video to the track, detailing a dream/nightmare lead man Matthew Squires lives through as he runs from the police, a group of bully children, and a man who plays the drums with wild inhibition.

Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders have a hometown charm that can only come from an up-and-coming band without major label resources, evident in their album’s warm song production and engineering, and this endearing video. Squires feels like a next door neighbor, or a local friend, who you can’t help but root for, support, and most of all, enjoy listening to. Don’t miss out. - OurVinyl

"Matthew Squires and the Learning Disabilities Release Video for “Arcade”"

Austin’s Matthew Squires and the Learning Disabilities have released their first video, a stylized, adorable, and absurdist walk through the mind of the band’s creative force. The video and song are both as endearing as hell, delivered with off-kilter sincerity and earnest oddity. Some will simply not be able to get past Squires’ voice, which is a shame, considering all the positive aspects he has to offer. For fans of Paul Baribeau or Kimya Dawson, you’re in luck.

“Arcade,” which features cute organ, great backing vocals, and hooky stop-starts, appears on How to Combust Your Life, the band’s first album, which came out in January. The album is full of upbeat, oddball pop songs with an incredible amount of heart as Squires sings with unabashed courage. You can stream that album in its entirety or purchase a physical copy here. Squires is already at work on material for a new album which he plans to record in July. Watch the video for “Arcade” below and stream “The Heretical Physics,” which follows. - Pop Press International

"Back of the Rack: April 2013 Mixtape"

“I’m either too young, too boring, or too modest to have anything that “biographical” to say. I love the people in my life. Sometimes I try too hard and sometimes I don’t try hard enough. Writing songs makes me happier than anything else in my life.” So goes Matthew Squire’s Facebook bio, belonging to the young solo artist who has recently released his first full-length album, “How to Combust Your Life.” Full of light pop melodies, the underlying feelings found in “The Arcade” come across a bit more serious than it initially sounds – a nostalgic look at the singer/songwriter’s life from his future perspectives of being a father and grandfather, “The Arcade” knows how to pull on your heart strings. - Our Vinyl

"New Folk Pop From Matthew Squires"

Matthew Squires is a an Austin resident who just recently released his latest album How to Combust Your Life independently. To drum up some publicity for his new album, we’ve got a new folk poppy song from Matt called “The Arcade” streaming and downloadable below. You’ll catch some folkiness to the song with just enough pop mixed in to keep you listening for awhile. I also am really digging the quirky and unique vocals that continue to grow on you with each and every listen.

If you’re into the tunes, you can stream more music over on the Matthew Squires bandcamp page. - Austin Town Hall

""In the studio 2013/bands to look out for" Digital Sampler"

The song, "The Heretical Physics" is included in the digital sampler for UNDER THE RADAR's Winter 2013 issue. - UNDER THE RADAR Magazine


Matthew Squires hails from Austin, Texas and the album How To Combust Your Life is the result of two and a half years work, which he describes as “sort of the culmination of my life falling apart and being put back together after a stint at a Zen monastery in New York.”

It is a sweet blend of acoustic folk and pop shot through with a wee hint of psych – have a listen to/download The Arcade.

Order a copy here. - Mad Mackerel

"Album Reviews: Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders"

After listening through Matthew Squires’s first full-length record a couple of times, I was inspired to go back to what must have been some of his most inspirational material. Of course I started with In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel. I made my way into Bright Eyes’ Fever and Mirrors and then closed it out with Tallahassee from the Mountain Goats. When I finally returned to Squires’ album for a third listen, I actually forgot that I had switched away from the Mountain Goats. Squires’ voice recalls John Darnielle’s distinctive warble, throws in Jeff Mangum’s penchant for melancholy lyrics and tops it off with the melodrama of Conor Oberst’s musical arrangements. If any of those references appeal to you, then will probably love How to Combust Your Life from Matthew Squires. If you can’t stand any of those three musical milestones, then stop reading now, because Squires just won’t be for you.

Squires alludes to How to Combust Your Life being borne out of some great life tragedy, and the lyrics definitely speak to this idea. There’s a lot of mortality, insecurity and uncertainty permeating the lyrics across this record. The impressive thing, though, is that it’s not a dour album by any means. Partially this is because the arrangements manage to stay fairly upbeat, and partially it’s because all of the sadness is leveled out with some joy and confidence. “The Arcade,” for example, is a bouncy track that embraces the idea of growing into adulthood. “Your Mind is Fine” suggests what Quiet Company did a little over a year ago – that we are all where we belong. “(Not Quite) Cannon in D” uses the famous classical melody from Pachelbel to explain how music can make everything better, and “Deer Song”‘s “sha la la”s illustrate that quite plainly while noting that it’s okay not to have any idea what you’re doing with your life.

How to Combust Your Life isn’t a terribly polished record. Squires’ voice is sometimes off-key, and the music sometimes feels very lo-fi, which will undoubtedly turn off some listeners. However, it also has the effect of lending some authenticity to the occasion. Squires sounds entirely earnest throughout each song and lands some serious emotional punches. It’s an auspicious debut for a young singer-songwriter. We didn’t get this out in time for the album release show, but follow us on Twitter (@ovrld) for more information about Squires’ performances. The record is available to stream on Spotify, or you can buy it from Squires’ bandcamp page for any price you want. - Ovrld

"Notes from Left of the Dial: Penicillin Baby and more"

Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders, "The Giving"
Never one to rest on his laurels, Austin, Texas' Matthew Squires—of Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders—has been hard at work recording and collecting the sounds that will make up his next proper studio album. On his recent record, "Where the Music Goes to Die," Squires channels the spirits of artists like Daniel Johnston and The Mountain Goats, developing a singular lo-fi aesthetic that serves his personal narratives perfectly. And if his latest single is any indication, his instincts have served him well.

"The Giving" is a particularly lo-fi offering that incorporates trumpet, low-spoken lyrics and the sounds of a bustling city street to create a hypnotic atmosphere of noise and tangible experiences. And although he's made mention that this song may or may not be appropriate for inclusion on his as-yet-untitled new record, the direction that Squires seems to be moving toward on "The Giving" is one of rhythmic collaboration and a mixing of various fidelities. Squires has an impressive ability to confound and undermine our expectations, so I have no doubt that he'll continue to do so in the future. -

"ein (p)fund mp3 (494), teil 2"

auch hier ein feines stück musik, das uns vorerst als single genügen muss und (noch) nicht an ein album gebunden ist, der bursche, der in unterschiedlichsten kombis auch mit band antritt, stammt aus austin und bietet einen schön verspulten pop an: matthew squires: - Das Klienicum

"UTNE Reader Music Sampler"

Matthew Squires
Matthew Squires is an Austin, Texas-based singer-songwriter who writes thoughtful indie folk music. He’s currently working on a third full-length with his band, the Learning Disorders, and has written a few songs that he’s not quite sure will fit in with the finished product. One of those is “The Giving,” an experimental song of sorts that sees Squires singing over a simple melody textured by field recordings and his first attempt at recording trumpet. Listen to more of Squires’ music on Bandcamp. - UTNE Reader

"Daily Downloads (A Songs: Ohia Tribute EP, Robyn Hitchcock, and more)"

Daily Downloads (A Songs: Ohia Tribute EP, Robyn Hitchcock, and more)

Every day, Daily Downloads offers 10 free and legal mp3 downloads.

Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

Drug Cabin: "Handsome" [mp3] from Yard Work

Josh Garrels: Lost Animals album [mp3]

The Magnettes: "Who We Are" [mp3]

Mama's Broke: Mama's Broke EP [mp3]

Matthew Squires: "The Giving" [mp3]

One Hundred Paces: "The Rise and Fall" [mp3]

Sick Sad World: "Being Weird" [mp3]

Thad Kopec: "Every Drop" [mp3] from The Ridge EP (out May 19th)

Various Artists: Unsung: Songs: Ohia Covers Compilation EP [mp3] - Largehearted Boy

"February Singles: Mellow"


1. “The Giving” – Matthew Squires and the Learning Disorders. Squires plays the traveling troubadour here, finding “poverty and magic all around me” in a New Orleans full of found sound, delicate guitar, his signature vocal style, and fitting trumpet. - Independent Clauses

"Kate Bush, Sigur Rós, and Cloud Nothings Top Our Top Songs of the Week (11/25)"

Psych pop brightens even the gloomiest of winter days, but it does even more when the person making it lives in the south. Austin-based singer-songwriter Matthew Squires writes precisely this type of jangly song that gives you a burst of newfound energy. On “Shape of Your Heart”, a single off upcoming full-length Tambaleo (out via Already Dead Tapes on January 20th), he finds the heartfelt psych of Quilt, the lucid lyrics of the Moldy Peaches, and the ’60s energy of Foxygen. “I am the Antichrist/ I am Mother Teresa, too,” he sings, giddy with the type of delusional joy that stems from melancholic views. As the song slows down to a ’90s slump, Squires’ frown is a bit more visible — but even then, it feels like there’s no point in frowning. “I promise I’ll never abandon you/ Even if you say you want me to,” he sings, and it’s hard not to believe him. This is a guy who’s intent on making things work out, even if the weight of the world is pressuring him to believe otherwise. –Nina Corcoran - Consequence of Sound


Still working on that hot first release.



Matthew Squires is a singer-songwriter based in Austin, Texas.  Since 2012, he has released seven critically acclaimed albums and several accompanying music videos.  

With his distinctive vocal style and penetrating lyrics, Squires has carved out a unique niche for himself within the realm of indie pop, creating an idiosyncratic sound which manages to touch the heart and mind in equal measure.

His work has garnered praise from many notable blogs and magazines, including The Needle Drop, Stereogum, Consequence of Sound, Brooklyn Vegan, USA Today, Performer Magazine, Largehearted Boy, Surviving The Golden Age, Magnet Magazine, and many more.

In 2017, Squires released his most recent album, Tambaleo.  Debuting at #40 on the CMJ College Radio Charts, Tambaleo has been heralded by critics, and has been called, among other things, a "masterpiece," and his "most fully realized work to date."  

Squires is currently working on his next album.  It will be named "Visions of America," and will be released in April of 2019.

Band Members