Since releasing his first EP in 2012, Memphis, Tennessee born and Northwest Mississippi raised Matt Hectorne has been working to define what it means to a young singer/songwriter in the South. Of course, that means paying homage to the legendary forbearers who defined the American songbook, from Tom Petty, Willie Nelson and John Prine, but it also means considering the new vanguard, artists like Jason Isbell and Ryan Adams. And at the end of the day, it’s about merging classic style with modern sensibility to forge a songstyle all his own.
Today, Elmore is premiering a live session of “Sinking Man,” a song from his 2015 debut LP Days While Away, which Hectorne filmed for the Garage Video Sessions based in Charlottesville, Virginia. Hectorne says of the track, “I’ve written a lot of break up songs. A lot of songs about unrequited love. This one was different; nothing like this had ever happened to me. I found myself in a relationship with someone so great that it brought out all of my insecurities. I began to question why this person would even want to be involved with me. By the end of the song, I’ve pointed out that I’m aware that it’s mostly in my head and that it’s something I plan on working on in the future. It’s a snapshot of a very specific time in my life that had to be worked out in song to get through. On one hand it’s a love song and on the other it’s a song about fighting my way out of my own head.”
Hectorne’s unabashed sense of honesty and unflinching ability to air his insecurities makes the track unique, his gentle voice sometimes only a hush rising above the steady acoustic guitar. The sparse track echoes in the empty barn, shots of the Virginia countryside rolling out in front of him as he plays, adding a forlorn quality to the video. But the track is a reflection on love, a reminder not to get too caught up in your head, and remember that there is someone out there. Hectorne’s voice rises as he belts out his ultimate declaration of love, “But she loves me and all my wandering/ no matter where I seem to roam/ she’s an anchor strong and steady/ without her I would drift out all alone.”
Watch the video for “Sinking Man” below.