Bringing us an EP to tide us over until an end-of-the-year full-length album release, Matt Megrue (formerly of Matt Megrue and the Daisy Chains) is dropping 3-track Lost Hearts of the Jilted Age this Friday, Feb. 10. But we got a sneak peek! This EP delves into a variety of subjects, touching on the harsh realities of the American Dream, struggling with self-doubt and guilt, issues like alcoholism and depression, and the ever-continuing search for salvation. All arrive through a decidedly working-class Southern perspective that is reflected in the surrounding sonic scape.
First song, “Lost Hearts of the Jilted Age” is the most upbeat track on the disc with honest and raw lyrics that set the tone for the rest of the EP. It arrives with fast-paced guitar and drums before kicking into the first verse. “Calling all lost hearts of The Jilted Age who are searching for salvation from another mindless day, when we were young, our world was limitless and free. But now, it’s feeling more like a penitentiary, Living The American Masquerade.” We can’t help but let a certain political candidate come to mind when we think about the “American Masquerade.” Megrue subtly works that in, but focuses more on individual self-searching and realization: working until we die, yet afraid of living a meaningless life and falling apart as youth fades but trying to hold onto the reckless inspiration that gives life hope.
Second track “Worktruck” arrives with a harsh blue collar mentality. Hard work barely pays the bills, and the age-old struggle of making ends meet is still an issue today, as it was in generations before. “I used to be a rock n roll rebel,” reminisces Megrue while facing a current reality. “But even rebels have got to grow old. And that fighting spirit fades fast with a mortgage and a baby girl thrown in the fold.” The stress builds, internalizing into a drinking problem and deep-seeded depression that wears at the soul over an extended period of time. Southern rock and gritty vocals culminate as Megrue paints a rural South Carolinian landscape. “Coming home in a worktruck, aching bones and muddy shoes. I’ve got a cooler and a front porch swing that helps me to cope with those blues,” Megrue croons.
Last song, “Jenny” is a soft, sad ballad with reverby guitar and vocals initially reminiscent of Jack’s Mannequin. The chorus arrives with a hopeful message amongst the ultimately unidentified personal pain of the song’s subject matter. “So let go of that guilt, let go of that pain. Forget burning out or fading away. Silence that voice that shatters your mind. There’s so much more life for you to find. So, Jenny get free.”
None of the songs from Lost Hearts of the Jilted Age will be on Matt Megrue’s upcoming full-length album, so enjoy this extra taste!