Single Reviews

 MATT STELL - Built By Broken Hearts - RECORDS Nashville

With a resume that contains over a billion global career streams and Platinum recognized singles “Prayed For You” and “Everywhere But On,” Matt Stell has certainly made a name for himself amongst the country music faithful.

But with the impending release of his debut album Born Lonely (June 7, 2024), and his current single “Breakin’ in Boots” making an impact with country radio, Stell is ready to unleash a fully transparent batch of songs.

“I couldn’t be prouder of Born Lonely,” admits Stell. “When I started writing these songs, I decided to tell the truth – the good, the bad, the fun, the sad, all of it – and see what happened. It turned into the best batch of songs I’ve ever recorded.”

Further teasing the highly anticipated project with “Built by Broken Hearts,” he now offers another glimpse into the type of depth we can expect from the album.

Co-written with Seth Alley and James McNair, the moody guitar drip captivates the subduedness of Stell’s voice as he grips the lyric, tallying the story of his life through the opening verse with descriptives on the affects his parent’s divorce had on him as a child, offering insight into his coping mechanisms of tuning out the world by turning to the music in his headphones; specifically Alanis Morisette’s Jagged Little Pill.

As the progression of the instrumentation sweeps into the kicked-up chorus, the fuel of his emotionally strained heart exhausts through the edge of his voice, embracing who he is today and why he feels so comfortable amid hurt and pain:

“That’s why it feels like I’m home when I’m hurting

Feels right when I’m falling apart

You understand why you’re made for goodbye

When you’re built by broken hearts”

However, as darker shaded as the first half of the song may be, it becomes the perfect set up for the rallying light of redemption during the second verse when he meets the perfect someone who is just like him, that deeply understands his cracks and scars and fits his hurt and pain like the final piece to a completed puzzle.

When there’s such a well-established career already in motion, it’s always tricky for an artist to deviate from the normal and step into the unknown acceptance of a new chapter. There tends to be a holdback that occurs with not wanting to step too far across the line and into something new for fear of alienating your established fanbase.

But then there’s those like Matt Stell. With “Built by Broken Hearts” he absolutely steps across the line of expectation, throws caution to the wind, and transparently opens his diary by providing a bold autobiographical footnote that draws you deeply into who he is at his core as he expertly connects heartstrings while raising intrigue on things still to come.

(Review Written By: Jeffrey Kurtis)



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