Country newcomer Matt Stell is one to look out for this year. We have had the chance to host a Swag Session with the rising artist, spotlight his talent in an exclusive interview, and be in the audience as he performed at Hackensack Meridian Health Stage 17 for the first time. Now, we are excited that the singer-songwriter has officially released his new EP, under Sony Music Nashville/Arista Nashville, titled Everywhere But On.
The new record is a compilation of seven songs, all co-written by Stell. One of the tracks is of course, the singer’s lead single, “Prayed for You.” The coveted love song is currently climbing the charts, and we suspect that it will be Stell’s first top ten song, sometime in the near future. Co-written with Allison Veltz and Ash Bowers, Stell pours his heart out on the lyrics, singing a love letter to the girl of his dreams, whom he dreamt about and prayed for before he found her. Stell played this song for us, during our live Swag Session back in September.
On the contrary, just before the release of his EP, Stell premiered the heartbreaking title track. The singer-songwriter shows off his knack for creating catchy hooks and choruses and tugging at the listener’s heartstrings. “Everywhere But On” is Stell’s take on dealing with heartbreak, and struggling to move on, exclaiming “I’ve moved everywhere, but on.” The intriguing wordplay mixed with the entertainer’s raspy undertones is the perfect combination for this break-up song.
In the same vein, Stell sings about turning to alcohol to move on from a break-up. In “Better I Drink” the singer-songwriter shows off his outlaw side, delivering a song with heavier instrumentals and deeper vocals. The track is a stark difference from the previous songs he has released, but it gives the EP more versatility, which only adds to Stell’s talent. “Gonna drown my heart in a whiskey rain / The more I feel the better I drink.”
Stell sings about alcohol again in “I Bet Whiskey Would.” This time, using the liquor as a way to get comfortable with a new girl in a bar. The song is smooth, enticing, and sexy, even though its seemingly at first about alcohol. Once again, relatable, the lyrics mixed with Stell’s impressive vocals will keep this song stuck in your head.
Continuing with a more hard-hitting sound, Stell sings about not being able to break free of the love spell some girl has him under in the first track, a mid-tempo song. “Last Habit” is the singer’s realization that he’s addicted to a girl’s love and that he just can’t/doesn’t want to help it. “Yeah, the stars are just made for me wishing that dark was just made for your kisses / And all I wanna do is keep on holding you, keep on holding you / You’re my last habit.”
One of the stand-out tracks off the EP is “Home In a Hometown,” featuring fellow rising country artists, and one of our 2018 Artists to Watch, Jimmie Allen. The duo take turns, trading verses, paying homage to their perspective hometowns. Plenty of artists share their appreciation for the people and places that raised them, but Stell does so through honest and raw lyrics that stand out amongst the crowd. You’ll truly feel the nostalgia while listening to this track. “Put the back in the road / When we pull off the highway / The score on the board / On a November Friday / The hey how you been when you ain’t been around. The home in the hometown.”
Arguably the best track off the EP, Stell closes out his record with “The Reason Why.” Co-penned by the singer with songwriters, Paul Sikes and Matt Alderman, the mid-tempo love song has the ‘it’ factor. Throughout his EP, Stell has pure love songs and break-up songs, but “The Reason Why” is the perfect middle ground. It is his honest interpretation of wanting to give up on love but finding that one person that makes you want to give it another try. His cleverly crafted lyrics paired with the intriguing instrumentals will have you both crying, smiling, and singing along, which is everything you want in an uplifting anthem. “Love is a gamble, it’s a game / But those dice ain’t been rollin’ my way / It’s a song we’ve all heard / But I don’t seem to know the words / I swore I had given up on it / But you walked in and made me want it / You’re the reason why.”
Overall, Stell’s EP Everywhere But On is a solid representation of his artistry that will make you want to root for his success. We can’t wait to see where his career takes him next and will continue to champion him on as he carves his own path in the country music industry.
If you’re in the tristate area later today, head to Neptune City, New Jersey for a free Summer kickoff event, where Stell will be performing. Additionally, the singer-songwriter will be a staple at many country music festivals this summer, including CMA Fest, Carolina Country Music Fest, and Country LakeShake Festival. For tickets and more information, head to mattstell.com.
Everywhere But On is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.
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