Matthew French has just released the first half of his new album (Two Sides) called Side 1; Side 2 will follow, maybe sometime this Spring. Sounds like a tongue twister but also really a great way to build suspense.
Matthew is one of the kindest and most genuine folks in Minneapolis. He has a gentle demeanor that’s deep but pragmatic. Side 1 is a collection of songs about love and loss and the in-between space where you figure out how you’re going accept and process both. Still Got A Heart, for example, was written around election time 2020. It’s a look at what our once civil society has become. It’s not a condemnation or call to arms; instead it’s a taking ownership on what he can do to make it better – “start with the things I can change.” And whether you’re spending your day protesting, working, praying or playing just working to be the better person is great advice- especially when it’s presented as a personal choice. He embraces an optimism that is sometimes beyond my reach but presents this option in a way that makes it appealing because he does do with kindness and authenticity.
The other songs are more personal in nature. Man in the Yellow Chair is a touching song about his grandfather. Some Days is a song about recognizing that we gotta let go of some days. He spoke about it as waking up each morning – especially since the pandemic and being more acutely aware of how we feel, what we need, what we don’t have and learning to let go of finding solace every day. Some days are just going to be like that. Take it in and move on.
Some songs are newer and some are several years old but it’s an album (or half album) that will meet you where you are. We didn’t learn too much about Side 2 but we’re looking for move love, less loss and maybe resolution? I’m eager to hear it!