EP REVIEW: Matt Poling “Shine”

Nashville newcomer Matt Poling might be new to the city but he certainly is not new to music. In fact, he has been a musician practically his whole life beginning with piano lessons from age four through sixteen, leading to teaching himself how to play the guitar in high school, and finally (and lucky for us) realizing he could sing! Putting his songwriting and musical talents together with the help of producer Dan Frizsell, owner of Legends Studio, Matt released his four-song debut EP Shine to iTunes October 14, 2014. Frizsell also has credits with artists such as Lee Brice, Craig Morgan, and Chris Janson.

“I would describe this EP as something everybody can enjoy. There are some personal songs on it and there are some feel good songs on it. I write from the heart and I never want to put something out that I didn’t feel.”

As the first song on the EP “Bar” instantly grabs your attention with a powerful guitar and drum intro before Matt Poling makes his own enchanting yet commanding entrance into your world. Instrumentals and Poling’s voice combined with this upbeat tempo will have you wishing you were in a bar dancing with the one you plan to ‘get-a-way’ with!“A thousand eyes are all over you, and I’m planning our get-a-way. Girl, we aint gotta go too far, I just gotta get you out of this bar!”

By it’s title alone one would assume the second song “Next Big Thing” is a typical tale of triumph that any Nashville artists hopes for. However, in this twist the song details a topic few artists have ever touched upon: A love story gone wrong when motives lay in the wrong place, and in the wrong bed. “You’re such a mess, when you’re in that dress… seeing which of us ol boys can sing. Breakin’ every heart, looking for the next big thing.”

Poling slows it down a bit in “Already Gone,” the song he says means the most to him on the EP.

 “I had been dating a girl back home in West Virginia for about a year and a half. It came to a point where I knew if I moved it wasn’t going to work anymore. I went to Nashville in March and signed my lease. On the way home I wrote Already Gone on my iPad in about a half hour. When I got home I put the music to it and the rest was history. Already gone is the truest song on the EP.”

The song captures those feelings with it’s poignant lyrics: “I ain’t sure if it’s the right thing, leaving her to chase some dream. Never knowing what road I’m rolling on- she’s got a broken heart, cause I’m already gone.”

The title track “Shine” comes swooping in as the last song on the EP and will be sure to have you nodding your head, and tapping your boots along to the melody before you even know the lyrics. This is definitely the feel good song Poling was referring to. “It’s the way that her hands fall into mine, or the way she takes my breath time after time.. All she does is shine!” The breathtaking ending will have you wishing for more than just these four songs.

Find out more about Matt Poling on Facebook and Twitter.

Kelly Hettenbaugh

Kelly Hettenbaugh

Growing up in upstate New York, I was the one hanging with the boys hunting and fishing that the country songs talk about. Driving the back roads to my grandparent’s house in the southern tier, I used to belt out Trisha Yearwood’s “She’s In Love With a Boy,” desperately wanting to be Katie and find my Tommy. I thought my parents turned it up because they knew I liked it.. I’ve since realized it was probably to drown out my less than stellar singing voice. Although a lot has changed since then, my love for country music has stayed with me. I now live in SW Florida and my interest lies more in the up and coming acts, and songwriters than it does the larger acts that are already successful. I love being the first to discover someone and watch their career grow as they find their way in today’s crazy country music world. Working five days a week- my weekends are spent at a show, doing something active outdoors, or catching up with friends. Since I get to enjoy FL everyday, my vacations usually revolve around music festivals or visiting my family back in NY :)

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