Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Review: Matty Ride - Self-Titled EP

Summertime is once again upon us and that means it’s time to lock in some killer jams. You know what I’m talking about; they’re the kind of songs that are perfect for cruising to the beach, the top down, hair blowing, and the sun warm on your face as you soak up the rays and good times. And to that end, please allow me to introduce you to none other than up and coming artist Matty Ride and his self-titled debut EP.

Ride comes with a strong pedigree, being born in southern California while being raised in the heartland of Idaho before being invited to Music City, U.S.A. by none other than legendary producer and player Tommy Sims (Bruce Springsteen, Jonny Lang, Garth Brooks) to write and record. With Sims’ tutelage, Ride was exposed to a whole new side of Nashville, a side that would have a large impact on the budding artist.
“I was blown away by the level of musicianship I was exposed to,” he shares. “I was all at once inspired, humbled, and motivated. But I knew that if this was the type of music being created in Nashville, this was where I was meant to be.”
He took quickly to the town and the town took to him as well, seeing his already solid talent increase and grow, his name and work becoming more well known. It even garnered him the chance to work with blues star Jonny Lang, the two collaborating with Sims to pen the track “Breakin’ In” for Lang’s latest album.
But Ride was focused on his own music and his debut captures the man in a nutshell: fun loving, lighthearted, upbeat, and immensely talented.
“That Girl” opens the record up, a bright, danceable guitar groove leading the way while Ride steps into the track with rich, smooth vocals a sound that recalls touches of Maroon 5 and Dave Barnes. His delivery is solid throughout and the hook keeps the toes tapping before bridging into the danceable playfulness of “All Over Again.” Again, solid soul undergirds the proceedings with a chunky arrangement that are bright and breezy. “Come On and Dance” will have you doing just that, Ride tapping into his old school soul for some classic tones, thumping bass notes merging with a smooth and sunny keyboard fill while the artist croons out his lighthearted lyric.
But it’s “First Day of Summer” which really helps to make this a great summertime listen. With guest work from Beta and Fyutch, Ride delivers a track that is pure summer with shiny tones and a danceable arrangement. There’s a nostalgic element to the track, something which is reinforced even more on the music video which features a plethora of 80s related throwbacks from the “Back to the Future” DeLorean, Day-Glo colors, and a riffing guitarist who rocks a classic Stryper shirt. If it sounds like a lot of fun, that’s because it is and with his foils Beta and Fyutch providing a solid contrast, Ride works it like it’s his.

“Hold Me Closer” closes the EP out for Ride and again finds the artist digging deep into the past to showcase a silky soul ballad. The beat is perfectly gentle and the arrangement full of emotion and polished instrumentation as Ride delivers great lines like “I can hear the melody/But I can’t play the song/Once upon a time I knew the words/Nowadays I’m struggling/Just to sing a verse.” But, chances are, once Ride’s music has got its hooks into you, you won’t have any trouble singing along.
There’s a good reason that Matty Ride was tapped to come to Nashville to kickstart his young career and his debut EP showcases the solid talent and potential resting in the young artist. Smooth, polished, and ready for action, Ride takes listeners on a delightful romp through summer love and invites you to come along.

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