"Struggle follows everywhere I go", sings Matt Lovell on Trouble, the opening song to his debut album Nobody Cries Today. Wearing his heart firmly on his sleeve from the moment he introduces the record, it is clear that Nobody Cries Today is going to be very real.
Written in 2016, little did he know that life was about to get more complicated than the troubles he had experienced as an openly gay man living in the southern States of the USA. At the start of 2017, he was shot in the chest in Nashville by a sixteen-year-old who attempted to steal his car. Having to take time to rebuild his life, the album finally sees the light of day.
While the ride to release may have been rocky, the end result is anything but. With a voice that is somewhere between Adam Levine and Ray LaMontagne, Matt is a vocalist who could make you feel something even if he sang complete gibberish. The fact that Nobody Cries Today is lyrically poignant ensures that this is a record that gives you the tingles time and time again.
Equally given his rough ride, it would have easy to make a record full of wallow songs. But with a sound steeped in timeless sound and uplifting gospel, Nobody Cries Today may deal with the difficult and the heartbreaking, but it does so in a overwhelmingly uplifting manner.
While the tear-inducing 90 Proof is an early album highlight, the journey to the album's astonishing title track ensure it is a soul-stirring highlight that starts the impressive close of an impressive debut.