Artist: Matthew McNeal
Hometown: Fort Worth, Texas
Album: Good Grief
Release Date: April 3, 2020
Label: Matte Black Sound Company
In Their Words: “This was the first song I wrote for the album. Right before we left for the Good Luck record release tour in 2018, my father passed away out of the blue. I chose to carry on with the tour in [an] effort to heal and cope the only way I knew how — sharing stories with people out on the road and letting the highways settle my mind. Within the first couple of days on tour, my bandmate and best friend Andre and I had a few voice memos that laid the foundation for the song.
“It was a tough loss, losing my dad. I was actually named after him, we share our first name, ‘Michael’ (I have always gone by my middle name) and that gave me an even more introspective look into my own life upon his passing. My folks split up when I was six, but we tried to see each other whenever we could. There was anger held against him on my end, growing up with a single parent for many years was just my ‘normal.’
“We made our memories together over the years, though they were often few and far between due to the quick pace of life, but we had started to become much closer after I graduated college. We could see each other eye to eye a little more, there was a new level of shared understanding between us. I was beginning to find out a lot about myself by being around him, seeing some of the similarities that we shared that I had never noticed. Our relationship was coming full circle in a way that my heart had sought after for a long time, whether I could put a finger on it or not.
“Within the span of two days, he was here and gone. I lost my dad on the morning of my 25th birthday and it completely changed my life. Being able to write a song honoring him, and sharing the feeling that your loved ones are never truly gone — they always stay with you in your mind, your heart, and your soul. Losing loved ones is part of this story that we all live and I hope that ‘Michael’ offers a little bit of peace and comfort to those who have felt that same pain.” — Matthew McNeal
Photo credit: AJ Aiello