Austin based singer songwriter Matthew Squires has released with his band seven studio albums since 2010, all of which have been met with critical acclaim. His most recent album, ‘Visions Of America’, came out on August 30.
The title track from the new album is a sobering examination of what could have been and what ended up happening. Squires, looking and sounding every bit like a cross between DEVO’s Mark Mothersbaugh and Talking Heads’ David Byrne, channels both of them lyrically as well – we’re reminded especially of the lyrics of ‘Once In A Lifetime’, which similarly documented the world and what it could have been as opposed to what it is.
Since the release of his previous album three years ago, Squires has divided his time between a monastic Buddhist community in East Texas, and his home in Austin, the latter of which is where he’s recorded ‘Visions Of America’. At a mere nine songs, it’s his shortest album yet, but leanness doesn’t in the slightest mean lack of content: he takes a deep look at the origins of America’s consciousness.
The video for ‘Visions Of America’ shows Squires as an everyman, laying in a hotel room bed watching telly, where images of American culture flash past his eyeline. New World Order, a news story an assassination attempt on the US president, images of The Simpsons (also namechecked in the song), cigarettes, alcohol, gambling fill the screen as he recounts in a half-singing half-speaking fashion what his visions have been.
‘Visions Of America’ is somewhat confronting and even a bit depressing: Squires doesn’t provide any solutions; rather, he tells us what the problem is and leaves it up to the listener to decide what to do next.