Matthew Squires Shares Political Satire In New Single, ‘Poor Men Southeast of Portland’

Out of Austin Texas comes Matthew Squires, a singer-songwriter who’s been hard at the music business since 2012. Squires has independently released nine albums since then, and his latest release, ‘Poor Men Southeast Of Portland’, dropped on January 19, accompanied by a music video.

Squires’ previous work has been met with critical acclaim from the likes of Stereogum, TheNeedleDrop, GoldFlakePaint, among others, and his new single should certainly follow suit. Characterised by his distinctive vocal, as well as politically charged lyrics, the track is both ironic and earnest, with a satirical message aimed at Oliver Anthony, whose last summer had a viral hit last summer, with ‘Rich Men North Of Richmond’ – and an audience predominantly within the American right. Squires’ sound is reminiscent of Larry Norman, or Tom Petty, with its drawn out vocals and powerful acoustic guitar. The song, claims Squires, was written by a parallel universe’s version of Oliver Anthony, named Anthony Oliver.

“Oliver Anthony told Joe Rogan that he chose ‘Oliver’ as his stage name in honor of his deceased grandfather. He was nostalgic for a more innocent time, when hardworking, God-fearing white men got a little respect (he forgot to mention how that respect was at the expense of everyone else’s, or how it was largely enabled by unions). Meanwhile, in a parallel universe, Anthony Oliver told Roe Jogan his name was inspired by Casey Anthony. He was nostalgic for a more innocent time, when Americans could still unite around our fleeting spectacles of controversy, and weren’t yet confused as to which ones were astro-turfed by right wingers.”

While it’s a poke at Oliver Anthony, the lyrics are hard-hitting and provocative, such as,

Poor men southeast of Portland awake from their American dreams,

they enlist into the culture wars to distract them from their screams

about how they feel about their shame to look their children in the eyes

I guess the tree of justice blooms upon the question “why?”

‘Poor Men Southeast Of Portland’ is a clarion call to those of us who’ve been let down by the system, who no matter how hard we fight, still find ourselves caught up in it all, treading water, with our heads barely above the surface. It’s a hard lot we’ve been given and in a lot of respects, one we shouldn’t have, and the only way to fix this system we’re living in is to fight it, to kick against the pricks, to join the rising groundswell. We need to stop “playing the role that someone else designed to make someone else’s day”, and to take charge of our lives.

Watch the music video for ‘Poor Men Southeast Of Portland’ below, and find out more about Matthew Squires and his music online on Spotify, Twitter, and Bandcamp.

Poor Men Southeast of Portland - (An Anthony Oliver Music Production)

About the author

Lisa has been writing for over 20 years, starting as the entertainment editor on her university newspaper. Since then she's written for Popwrapped, Maximum Pop, Celebmix, and ListenOnRepeat.

Lisa loves all good music, with particular fondness for Jedward and David Bowie. She's interviewed Edward Grimes (Jedward), Kevin Godley, Trevor Horn, Paul Young, Peter Cox (Go West), Brendan B Brown (Wheatus), Bruce Foxton (The Jam), among many many more. Lisa is also available for freelance writing - please email