The exhilaration of love-struck moments, reflection of pains of the past, and hope for the future: these are the reigning themes of Mat Kearney’s new album “Just Kids,” released on Feb. 24, 2015.
This Nashville-based singer/songwriter gives listeners a flavor of his life experiences and thoughts with his artful balance of mellow, heartfelt melodies and lively rhythms.
Kearney’s album is a follow-up to his 2011’s “Young Love” which made it to the top Billboard Digital and Christian Albums charts.
In “Just Kids,” Kearney sets the tone with “Heartbreak Dreamer,” giving encouragement of future hope despite the world of hardship he tries to leave behind. He makes a quick turnaround with “Moving On,” in which he communicates his determination to “moving on, letting go, forget the past and giving up the ghost.”
Kearney doesn’t play solo for long, however. “The Conversation” features Young Summer with the use of voice and acoustic dynamics to set the tone.
His most popular songs of the album, “Just Kids,” “Billion,” and Kearney’s single, “Heartbeat,” breathe life into the album, leading its theme with upbeat tempos and optimistic lyrics.
“Heartbeat” sends uplifting rhythms that sync seamlessly with the theme of two lovers wrapped up in excitement of being together.
“Just take one look in my eyes and they will confess, that you got me feeling so high, and you are the rhythm of my life, my life,” as the song goes before it merges into the chorus.
In “Billion,” the catchy tune complements Kearney’s celebration of his lover and the joy she brings to his life as he sings, “Seven billion in the world baby, I only wanna be with you, I don’t want another girl baby, I only wanna be with you.”
Kearney brings out nostalgia in the single “Just Kids,” expressing his desire to experience childhood friendships characterized by innocence and excitement.
Like Kearney does so well, he later sneaks a calming acoustic song, “Let it Rain,” into the collection, this time with a subtle oriental twist. Its emphasis on reflection encourages a fresh perspective on life with its occasional unfavorable moments.
Originally from Eugene, Oregon, Kearney left his literature studies and soccer career at California State University at Chico to produce some songs in Nashville for a summer. Before he returned to school, he had drawn the attention of labels with his unique hip-hop and folk style blend. “Just Kids” is Kearney’s seventh album since his first release of “Bullet” in 2006.
Mat Kearney kicked off his 2015 tour with support from Tennessee-natives Judah and the Lion, in Spokane, Washington March 5 and concluded it in Nashville, Tennessee on April 4.
Visit matkearney.com to learn more about Kearney’s music and his new album “Just Kids.”