From haunting acoustic ballads to gritty rock and roll songs filled with swagger and attitude, Matthew Mayfield has spent the past decade releasing music that has changed the hearts and lives of his listeners. His latest LP, Gun Shy, is a collection of songs as varied as the emotions each of us feels. If his previous release, RECOIL, was the fruit of an intense effort by Mayfield to depict the good, the bad, and the ugly in the world he inhabited, Gun Shy is a look into all worlds – those full of darkness and hope.
To connect with listeners and draw them into these worlds, Matthew created Inside the Song with Matthew Mayfield, a podcast dedicated to telling the stories behind the songs of Gun Shy. According to Mayfield, “I grew up with songs in such a deep way that I wanted to be inside them. I wanted to know how this artist could articulate the things I was feeling better than I could myself. The lyrics, the sonics behind the music, everything. I just craved to know more. Growing up with music when I did meant that I looked to liner notes. I think of the podcast as liner notes for your ears.”
Listen to any of the podcast episodes, and you’ll hear what makes Gun Shy Mayfield’s most introspective and personal record to date. “Our Winds” speaks of true love and hope in the midst of pressure from external forces while “Broken Clocks” finds Mayfield accepting a relationship that is doomed to fall apart. The riffs and hooks found in “Gun Shy” and “Best of Me” show Mayfield as the rock and roller he is.
While Mayfield is known for crafting both gripping ballads and eclectic rock songs, Gun Shy’s greatest triumph lies somewhere between those two styles. “S.H.A.M.E.,” the album’s third track, touches on what is currently Mayfield’s deepest concern – a world full of people that feel as if they are alone.
“Shame is something that no one wants to talk about, but we’re all ashamed of something. We all have demons and things that prevent us from seeing our self-worth. The song is about connecting with people and letting them know they are not alone,” says Mayfield.
Gun Shy was produced by Paul Moak, who Mayfield describes as, “one of the most gifted producers, players, songwriters, and overall artists I’ve ever met.” This is the fourth full-length album the two have recorded together, and Moak’s talents played a major role in making it special. Mayfield and Moak also happen to be great friends, which Mayfield says, “helped us push each other along through the process.”
With each new record, Mayfield has grown in his ability to evoke a broad range of emotions in his listeners. “I want to create melodies and lyrics that move people, that make them feel something. Connection is everything, and music has a unique way of helping people connect to others and to parts of themselves that they might otherwise be unable to access.”
Gun Shy is now available on all digital platforms worldwide. Physical copies are available on matthewmayfield.com.