Matt Bastardson’s “Hard Times” Is Alt-Country With Pontiac Edge

From Matt’s Website

The Pontiac scene won’t let me go. Here we go. So, we’ve got yet another stellar release coming out of one of the folks I met at Exferimentation Brewing Company’s open mic. For a place that’s been closed for a fair shake now, I really love how it keeps popping its head back into my life, it was a good place. Matt Bastardson’s “Hard Times” is well produced, working class Americana that feels like Metro Detroit’s own brand of country music. 

Maybe this is a controversial opinion, but I personally believe Michigan is becoming a real contender in the alt-country scene. We’ve got guitar gods like Billy Strings coming out, as well thrash-grassers The Native Howl, flawless musicians like myself of course, and we’ve got this single right here from Matt Bastardson. It’s been excellently produced into something that feels both modern, and retro at the same time, which also feel appropriately Metro-Detroit. Its alt-country/southern rock at its core, with a lot of blues and even more Americana. The chunky guitar effortlessly chugs and fills driven by the pocket drums, and fiddle that seems to travel between the ears as it plays. 

The star of the show is Matt’s fantastically edged vocals, and his grounded songwriting. A song about perseverance out of Pontiac feels appropriate. Lines like “Hard Times On My Shoulders/ Have Cut These Lines In My Face/ I Will Fight To Make A dollar/ Anybody, anytime, or place” deliver a blue collar feel that makes me want to go get shit done. The song feels thematically satisfying as a kind of come-back/debut as well, as it feels autobiographical. 

It’s been an absolute treat to get to hear music coming out of all these people I was able to see play in some way at Exferimentation. I want to say it’s all been surprisingly good, but I’m not truly surprised. All of them have been clearly talented performers, and the music they make reflects that. Matt Bastardson’s “Hard Times” establishes him as another example of the excellent country influenced music coming out of Michigan right now. The track is currently in pre-release, but you can get your hands on it by signing up for Matt’s mailing list on the Fan Magnet linked below.

Track Credits:

Tracked at 17 West Lawrence with Mike Seeger

Singer/Songwriter and Guitars: Matt Bastardson

Bass and Keys: Jordan Weiss

Drums: Rob Emmanuel

Fiddle: Wes Fritzemeir

Mixing: Ryan Cunninghan (Boxcar Audio, Pontiac)

Matt’s Socials:

Fan Magnet: Click here to get the track

My Socials:

WYLDCAT’s CatAtonic Preview

Got my hands on some music from the future. That’s right, this transmission is coming to you from the future, and I’m going to tell you it’s bleak. Well, ok maybe not but I do have a pre-release preview of WYLDCAT’s debut chiptune album “CatAtonic,” out September 22. It does kind of sound a bit like the future, while drawing from the past. It’s pretty neat. 

WHO IS WYLDCAT? I feel I’ve personally really missed out on an opportunity by not having my musical alias also sound like the name of a superhero. Anyways, who is WYLDCAT? WYLDCAT is Stuart Sanchez, and a Gameboy Advance. Well, maybe it’s a bit more complicated than that, but that is the soul of it. Stu is another person I know from the scene around the unfortunately closed “Exferimentation Brewing Company” in Pontiac, and I’ve gotten the chance to see him perform a bit before. He drew these huge sounds from his tiny Gameboy Advance and delivered some really high energy chiptune. It’s really cool to see these efforts manifest themselves into an album with “CatAtonic.”



I used to listen to a decent bit of chiptune music, and have actually tried my hand at making some before. WYLDCAT is certainly much more successful at it than I ever was. I was just sort of fooling around, but you can tell WYLDCAT’s music comes from a very genuine place of passion for the genre of chiptune and electronic music as a whole, as well as a specific nostalgia for the Gameboy Advance and its distinct tonal palette. At its core “CatAtonic” is dance music, with irresistible bass lines and satisfying bass and kick drums. I really love the way the more primitive consoles are manipulated to create drums in chiptune music and the drums in “CatAtonic” are especially excellent. WYLDCAT does a great job at manipulating the sounds available to deliver some great melodic hooks, as well as a dreamy sort of nostalgia fogged atmosphere. I can really imagine myself bopping along in some GBA side-scroller to these tracks.

For a debut effort, the three tracks I’ve gotten to listen to “Cat Khan,” “Cat Walk,” and “Chem Cat” show strong composition and variety. All three deliver an irresistible head boppiness, but deliver it different ways. It feels appropriately like moving on to a different stage in a video game without being strictly tied compositionally like video game music can be. I’m excited to get to listen to the whole album on September 22 with everybody else. To let out my inner dad; I enjoyed the “demo” and I’m excited to play the “full game.” 

WYLDCAT’s Socials

My Socials

“Three Wolf Moon Tee Shirt” is out now

Chill indie pop pop culture nostalgia love song “Three Wolf Moon Tee Shirt” by singer-songwriter Justin H.K. is now available wherever you listen.

This tracks layered and subtle percussion along with its mix of folk, electronic, and rock instrumentation provided a perfect backdrop for the seriously song, kind silly lyrics of mis-remembered love.

Bandcamp

Soundcloud

Submit To ME!

We’re happy to announce we are now accepting music submissions for coverage at Dirt Witch Records. We’re not a particularly far reaching blog right now, but we are committed to helping small and emerging artists with reviews, hype, and feedback. A submission is not a guarantee of coverage, but we will try to get to all submitted music, just be aware that we are a one man team writing for no financial gain.

When submitting music please include a picture of the band, a brief description of your band and the release including all prudent information (genre, release date, ways to listen etc.), and a link/mp3 to the release. As a fellow musician as well as a music critic I would strongly recommend any artists putting out music to get a press release with this kind of stuff together and place it in google drive.

Please tell your musical friends about us so we can continue to grow a positive community of small and emerging indie artists.

Uh Huh: To A Name I No Longer Have

Tomorrow marks a years since the release of Uh Huh, the first release from the project that would become Justin H.K. I’m still a big fan of this album so I’ve decided to do a re-issue releasing tomorrow, so the Uh Huh album can be accessed properly where you find music from Justin H.K.

https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/justinhkandjustinhurst/uh-huh-reissue

This makes this also the perfect time to re-visit the cutest thing I’ve ever been in, directed and edited by my wife

Anywho, I’d love for you all to join me in re-visiting this album tommorow!

BandCamp if you’d like to directly support my music: https://justinhk.bandcamp.com/album/uh-huh