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Matthew Fowler
Photo: Mike Dunn / Courtesy of IVPR

Folkie Matthew Fowler’s “Going Nowhere” Is a Toe-Tapping Breakup Tune (premiere)

Matthew Fowler finds his dynamic amongst soulful folkies. “Going Nowhere” is the product of Fowler being open about the faith-based schisms in a relationship.

Matthew Fowler finds his dynamic amongst soulful folkies. The Colorado singer-songwriter sits comfortably amongst the likes of Ray LaMontagne and Damien Rice with his smoky vocals and keen ability to strike an emotional chord. Since the release of his homespun debut album, Beginning, in 2014, he’s amassed a faithful audience that has seen him across the country—such as at the historic Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, New York. It was there that Fowler finished penning his latest tune, “Going Nowhere”.

“Going Nowhere” is the product of Fowler being open about the faith-based schisms present in a prior relationship. His upfront, careful delivery is its highlight, driven forward with sparse, key-centric melodies and plaintive acoustic guitar. “I held you even though you don’t believe in me sometimes,” he muses on the tune’s chorus. “You kissed me even though I don’t believe in Jesus Christ, but I feel God inside the songs I hear sometimes.”

Reflective backing vocals meet Fowler, making the lyrics more potent. The song evolves into a higher tempo, becoming more of an emotive swayer instead of strictly a dirge. The singer-songwriter does a lot with a little, making for a captivating, concise arrangement replete with honest emotion.

Fowler will make his label debut with The Grief We Gave Our Mother, releasing via Signature Sounds on 10 September. “Going Nowhere” is the album’s third and final single. Alongside the debut of its studio cut, Fowler is premiering an acoustic rendition of the song. Shot live from his bathtub, ample acoustics lead to a reverberant, powerful performance from the artist.

Fowler tells PopMatters, “I wrote this song about a girl who lived across the street from me. We had known each other for a long time and dated for a brief period but ultimately broke it off over differences in faith. It was the first time in my life I had to try and explain what God meant to me and what spiritually moved me, and the first time I truly thought about how that affects a relationship’s growth, future, and potential. The frankness and honesty of that conversation stuck with me and gnawed at me for years until I wrote about it.

“I had the chorus etched into the back of my notebook for a long time and finally finished piecing this song together during an extended stay in Troy, NY. The good folks at Caffe Lena, a longstanding folk club in Saratoga Springs, allowed me into the building after hours to workshop and write. Bob Dylan used to play the open mic there back in the day, and I finished both ‘Going Nowhere’ and ‘Cassie’ soaking up whatever magic I could in that building.”

“When the song reached Shane, he paid extra close attention to the way Tana, Addy, and I shifted dynamics and exploded in certain sections. The arrangement he worked up for this song was especially privy to those changes, and he nailed the arrangement. I’m proud of how this song evolved from a very stark and dry place into an emotional foot-tapper.”

TOUR DATES

9/12 – Williamstown, MA – The Barn (w/Double Diamond)
9/13 – Southbury, CT – House Show
9/14 – Woodbury, CT – Woodbury Brewing Company (w/Dan Rodriguez)
9/15 – New York City, NY – Rockwood Music Hall Stage 3
9/16 – Saratoga Springs, NY – Caffe Lena
9/17 – Cambridge, MA – Club Passim (w/Heather Maloney)
9/18 – South Egremont, MA – The Egremont Barn
9/19 – Easthampton, MA – Arcadia Folk Festival
9/21 – Norfolk, VA – Kobros Coffee
9/25 – Nashville, TN – AMERICANAFEST
9/26 – St. Augustine, FL – Sing Out Loud Festival
9/29 – Athens, GA – Georgia Theatre Rooftop
10/5 – St. Petersburg, FL – Hideaway Cafe (w/Liam Bauman)
10/8 – Gainesville, FL – Heartwood Soundstage (w/Riley Moore)
10/9 – Jacksonville, FL – Blue Jay Listening Room (w/Riley Moore)
10/10 – Orlando, FL – Will’s Pub (w/Riley Moore)

PopMatters