New Album Follows Choice Support Slots with Lucero, Lydia Loveless, & Everlast
While he’s traded the distortion pedals for an acoustic guitar and a harmonica, that doesn’t mean he’s left the DIY ethos or the intensity behind, not by any means. His superbly tight band the Truer Sound alternates resolutely hardscrabble rock and roll with the winsome sounds of pedal steel and organ. There’s a lot on the line in Lo Fi High Hopes, an album full of heart that speaks to perseverance, showing up for yourself and others, and avoiding half measures. “It ain’t easy / It’s not supposed to be,” he sings on “Keeping Time,” a song that shows just how vulnerable Matt is willing to get.
Charette’s music will bolster the listener, too. The LP fires up with “4X4,” in which Matt is “leaning on my buddies just to stay alive” and “will see you at the bar on a Saturday night”; it’s a theme he comes back to in the songs and interviews, the communities he’s built through music. “Wrecking Ball” kicks hard and is destined to find a bar full of fans singing along, full-throated, with fists raised.
Matt says of the album’s most steadfast, exuberant song, “Going Down Swinging,” which comes out as a single February 8, “It’s about standing up and fighting for what you believe in.” He adds, “As long as you do it with love.” Go ahead and try not to get the melody of “Girl From Ontario” stuck in your head. “Jess” sneaks up and then stops you cold, with Matt opening up about a former girlfriend lost to an overdose. The album doesn’t shy away from loneliness or heartbreak, such as on the powerful “I Don’t Want To (Feel)” or the closing “How’s It Gonna End.”
The end result is an incredible album that proves that Americana is where Charette belongs.
Stay tuned for a US tour next spring and a show at Cambridge, MA’s Atwood’s Tavern on the release date, March 10.