Matt Nathanson On Mountain Stage
By Adam Harris
Songwriter Matt Nathanson remembers thinking “The world needs anthems” when he set out to make his latest album. “We need positive songs for un-empowered people,” he says. “I’m going to be the U2 of man-folk.”
But then, the songs that materialized seem to reflect heartache, loss and sadness, eventually becoming his 2018 release, Sings His Sad Heart. Nathanson quipped, “So the next records gonna be anthems.”
Nathanson is a champion charmer, as you can hear in this acoustic set accompanied by Aaron Tap on guitar, keys and backing vocals. His catalog is already filled with a variety of anthems and the hooks, which he seemingly has an endless supply of, are his secret weapon. We’re treated to three songs that appear on Sings His Sad Heart: “Way Way Back,” “Long Distance Runner,” and “Used to Be.” Each is fortified with tasty, hummable riffs that stick with you.
Nathanson gets major laughs in between songs with tales about the simultaneous roles of being a performer and a father, his only vice (cursing), and celebrity culture. The latter having influenced him to write the closing number, “Bill Murray,” from 2015’s Show Me Your Fangs.
Ever since the 2007 platinum-selling single “Come On Get Higher” founds its way into the public conscious, Nathanson’s songs have been featured in numerous television shows, NCIS and Scrubs among them. His effusive personality and outward love of music have landed him appearances on That Metal Show, Ellen, and he has performed on the The Bachelor … twice.
- “Way Way Back”
- “Long Distance Runner”
- “Used to Be”
- “Bill Murray”