Listeners can’t help but gravitate towards Cleveland’s catchiest songwriter, Matt Moody. Growing up in the grey town of Ohio, he credits the melancholia in his music to these attributes of his surroundings. However, recently relocating to the sunshine of Los Angeles, CA, Matt Moody has noticed that things have started to come full circle for himself.
Focused on his art, now more than ever, he keeps his eyes on the prize and invests himself into what truly matters; making honest art. Taking this into the formation of his most recent single “Graveyard,” Matt Moody introduces us to a genre-defying resonance that comes throttling through the speakers.
Picking up on hues of the modern and refreshing notes captured, Matt Moody flawlessly sustains a driving relationship with the nostalgia that classic rock and 80s synth wave brings to the table. In addition, he has a flair for seamlessly merging these worlds into a cosmic representation of how he distinguishes his signature styling. Etching his allure into each melody cast out in “Graveyard,” there’s an effortlessness to the way he projects his croons.
Deliberate with their impact, you hear the emotion that is spun into this masterpiece. With lyrical motifs such as ‘I bet you have a graveyard full of hearts,’ steering the repetition in the chorus, we pick up on Matt Moody’s talent for crafty one-liners that will here on outlive inside your mind. Performing on a narrative of loss, love, and shattered souls, this fourth single hailing from his forthcoming album ‘Still a Kid in a Painted Sky,’ is a snapshot of an artist facing adversities, and channeling negative emotions into aspiration.
After taking the experience that life has brought him, and making his realizations, Matt Moody is finally at a place where he is ready to give more to his audience.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, Matt Moody, and congratulations on releasing your fourth single from your upcoming album. What moment or story took your inspiration to the next level when bringing this piece to life?
I started collecting, arranging and writing demos in late 2019 for this album and through that process, I stumbled upon the discovery of: "This feels like a statement - not just a batch of songs." Still, a Kid in a Painted Sky is a calling. A journey from dust to dust. I can't exactly remember that AHA moment (though I'm sure it came when I was stoned around 4 am one night) when everything clicked and fell into place for me mentally, but with each new song I wrote in the period of time, it felt like another layer to something I was uncovering. "Graveyard" is a song that I've had in my back pocket for over 8 years and when the concept for the album started to become clearer, I knew it was time to give it the platform it deserved. I knew I had a body of work that it was finally going to fit into.
What does “Graveyard,” say about you as an artist and individual? How has your mindset adapted since writing this song, to the current release of it?
I think above all else, "Graveyard" says: Matt Moody is a songwriter. It's something I had co-written 8 years ago in Nashville with my good friend and long-time collaborator Cass Hunter. It was the first time we had met. I had the chords and the melody and she came up with the lyrics on the spot. We had a song in about 30 minutes. One of those gifts from the ether where the song just pours out. It's not always that easy. When we first wrote the song, I was working in Nashville and was scared shitless. Thrown into the music industry as a kid fresh out of a grunge band from Cleveland, now expected to be some star-studded artist that I had no right to claim by a manager who was out of touch with an industry far beyond her hay-day. Fast forward 8 years and I've been through the wringer. Everything from being shot down by major labels, to losing a manager, to going through a battle with depression when I lived in Columbus, to moving back to Cleveland and making my way from open mics to headlining spots at local festivals and selling out venues. To put it simply, I went from "do I deserve to be here?" to "I'm here because I deserve it, and I worked my ass off for it." Now I've thrown myself into the gladiator hell-hole that is Los Angeles (don't get me wrong, it's a love-hate that I'm learning to embrace fully) and I'm still so new here that I don't have a sense of anything yet. All I know is, there's a lot of us - and most of us want the same thing, and most of us aren't going to see the light of day. I don't know what happens beyond this point, I just know I'm hungrier than I've ever been and I came here because I felt called to do so. That's good enough for me.
With such abstract lyrics that truly encourage the listener to take what they can from the song, what message do you hope that all can reflect on after listening to “Graveyard?"
I always like to emphasize that it's not my business to tell you what you ought to feel or walk away with after listening to any piece of music. That's for the listener to determine. I'm simply a conduit for what I hear floating around *out there* and whatever's churning inside me at that particular time. If anything, turn it up loud, bang your head, dance your ass off, let that shit out, whatever it is.
What is your mission statement as an artist? Has this remained consistent through your move from Cleveland to LA?
I don't think in terms of mission statements. I don't want to save anybody or sway anybody's perspective on life. I write songs. I value freedom and truth. Freedom from anything that tries to beat you into submission. Truth in the face of a world filled with distractions, white noise, and sensationalism.
What's next for you, Matt?
I'll be releasing "Still a Kid in a Painted Sky" in its entirety sometime in the Spring of 2022 but I've still got some more singles coming down the pipeline before then. You can catch me playing around LA with my band. We've got a free show at Little Joy in Echo Park on November 16th. I'm constantly writing new material; there's always something brewing for me. Just keep an eye out and I'll share more when the time is right. Beyond that? Hell if I know; the mountains, the sea, the birds, the trees: anything but more concrete and razor wire.