Matt Hires @ New World BreweryThis past week Tampa based singer/songwriter Matt Hires released his long anticipated follow-up to Take Us To The Start with his latest EP, Forever. As one of the top singer/songwriters in the genre right now, Hires keeps his youthful energy, quality songwriting, and that incredible, yet unique, voice with Forever.

The new EP is a well done teaser to his upcoming full-length album entitled This World Won’t Last Forever, But Tonight We Can Pretend. This much awaited follow-up to Take Us To The Start (TUTS) shows some true growth and development for Hires. TUTS, Hires début album, released in 2009, reached top 10 on iTunes’ “Top Albums” chart. Also, despite only being available in digital format, TUTS debuted at #96 on the Billboard 200 albums chart and #16 on the digital downloads chart (reference: Wikipedia.org). With his catchy hooks and songs you can’t help but tap your foot to, Hires immediately caught my attention. Let us not forget the whistling; this guy can freaking whistle.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBYzhFSkwMQ]

Now, two and a half years later, Hires finally releases his follow-up to TUTS with his EP entitled “Forever.” To start, I must say that the wait was entirely worth it. Hires continues his unique sound that caught the ear of so many with TUTS. Continuing to draw inspiration from influences as disparate as The Band, Sufjan Stevens, Wilco and Ryan Adams, you can also sense more of a folk style sound from the start.

The album starts off with his single “Restless Hearts” released back in September (Click here to download on iTunes free!). This song kicks the EP off strong with its catchy lyrics and hook that will have you singing along by the last chorus without even having to look at lyrics.

The EP only gets stronger from there. Slowing down a bit with the title track “Forever”, Hires hits us with yet another up-beat chorus all while bringing back the Matt Hires & lyrical repetition love affair from Take Us To The Start. If you’re unsure what I mean, pick up the album and you’ll learn.

My favorite track on Forever is probably “Sound Of Falling In Love.” However a bit cheesy in the title, the song is anything but. Bringing an odd sense of familiarity, “Sound Of Falling In Love” is a song any listener can relate to. The song has a huge, contagious chorus and verses you can’t help but tap your foot to. The song has lyrics that draw you a mental picture without even trying. You can’t help but picture the song in your head as it’s being played.

The EP concludes with “Signal In The Sky.” Following the song-to-song emotional roller coaster ride, Signal In The Sky takes things down a notch for the conclusion. The song is highly reminiscent “You Are The One” released on Take Us To The Start while still adding that new flare that is present on the entire EP. This song will definitely gain some attention and it seems it already has. “Signal In The Sky” has already been featured on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy back in November.

As stated earlier, all the tracks on “Forever” are slated to be included on his sophomore CD entitled “This World Won’t Last Forever, But Tonight We Can Pretend.” Be on the lookout for that later this year.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zk4dKviGpXw]

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Adam Kappel

Adam is a co-founder of State-Lines.com, an entrepreneur, and lover of all things sports, movies and music.

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