Matt Maeson

Published on July 7th, 2022

Matt Maeson by Matthew Reamer

Singer-songwriter Matt Maeson started landing on playlists and lodging in hearts with “The Remixes,” a debut SoundCloud set in 2016 that could almost be heard as the announcement of a career in reverse: remixes first, and “original” versions next. A “stripped,” de-orchestrated take on “Cringe,” from “The Remixes,” one year later drew millions more listeners into this confessional and unsparing figure’s orbit. Maeson’s heavy sweetness as a singer and his melodic intuition as a writer also caught the attention of alt-pop hero Lana Del Rey, who would later team with him for a remix of a remix, if you will: “Hallucinogenics,” transformed from a soulful dance track in 2016 into an aching duet in 2020.

Maeson’s work is guided by flexibility — treating no version of a song as sacred — and a dead-honest, almost Johnny Cash-like grappling with his faults and his fame. A self-proclaimed believer in a “Most High,” or higher power, Maeson doesn’t shy from spiritual questioning or struggle as he tries to reconcile his Christian upbringing with his rebel streak and align his moral beliefs with a heavenly influence as he lives out a secular alt-rock dream.

As with Cash, fans of Maeson cherish the everyman honesty he has sustained through work that plainly states where his head is, from a pair of reputation-making EPs — “Who Killed Matt Maeson” and “The Hearse” — through the subsequent LPs “Bank on the Funeral” and his new, post-pandemic offering, “Blood Runs Red.”

Maeson idolizes his vices until he breaks down — or they break him down — into a state of philosophical quandary. Religious or not, listeners relate openly to his desire to rise above his failings and achieve a higher self — just look at the comments under his YouTube clips.

In USERx, a recent side project with fellow Virginia Beach, Va., native Rozwell, Maeson delivers a therapeutic melody on a track called “Heavy Heavy,” as he sings of passing through trauma and wrestling with “the loss of many.” It’s heavy, indeed, for someone who’s only 29 years old.

Matt Maeson performs 7pm Saturday, July 16 at Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale ~ Amanda E. Moore