Here is ‘Gently Used’, the latest single from Boston-based singer-songwriter Matt York. ‘Gently Used’ is driven by mournful piano and ethereal guitar but what really makes it stand out is York’s sorrowful vocal performance, full of melodic regret. There’s such beautifully tuneful resignation in his words: “One more dance // And then this whole thing is over…one black eye // Another thing she’ll justify // She said, ‘Let’s wait ’til the morning // I gotta see my other baby tonight’…But she dreamed of something she won’t ever be.” It’s an artfully-crafted song that demonstrates York’s sensitivity and contrasts well with his other material.
York is often drawn to darker subject matter, which he writes about with authenticity. Within a few weeks in 2020, he and his wife both lost their jobs and his father passed away. He recalls: “That was a ‘holy shit’ moment. It allowed me to write not only from a place of where I was at, but if, say, a friend of mine was going through a divorce, I could put myself into their situation and write about it as if it was my own. The loss, the suffering…I was feeling it personally. When you hear a Johnny Cash song talking about being busted or just getting by, if that song was written in 1955, it’s every bit as applicable today as it was then, and it doesn’t matter if you are working on a cotton farm in Arkansas, or if you’re living here in Massachusetts, if you can’t get shoes for your kids and figure out how to pay for food, that stuff is real.” He channels those feelings of loss and sadness into his song-writing.
This is the title track from York’s forthcoming album, which is due for release on 3rd June 2022. The new record benefits from contributions from some outstanding artists, including Joshua Hedley’s fiddle, Spencer Cullum, Jr. on pedal steel and piano from Dillon Warnek. With its timeless songcraft, it’s definitely an album to watch out for and, in the meantime, check out the single.
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