Today’s Song: Matt Mays Looks for Hope Amongst the Wreckage on “Let There Be Love”

Matt Mays © Devin McLean
Matt Mays’ new song “Let There Be Love” is Annie Lennox in a stetson, Madonna with a Rickenbacker — and it’s amazing.
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Stream: “Let There Be Love” – Matt Mays




If the last two years of Matt Mays’ career has shown us anything, it’s that there is a deep duality inside him. 2017’s Once Upon A Hell Of A Time was that classic Springsteen-meets-The-Foo-Fighters sound that Mays and co has mastered over the last twenty years. The follow up—the aptly named Twice Upon A Hell Of A Time, which is an acoustic reworking of the first record—exchanges distortion for the haunting sound that serves as an undercurrent in Mays’ work.

Before heading on a cross-Canada tour that saw him merge these two sides into one evolving show, Mays dropped another single that demonstrates his diversity. “Let There Be Love” is Annie Lennox in a stetson, Madonna with a Rickenbacker — and it’s amazing.

Let There Be Love - Matt Mays

Let There Be Love – Matt Mays

The track opens with a lone synth melody, as chaotic as it is catchy. This synth permeates the whole song, meshing perfectly with the dancey-drums and the subtly-groovy bass to create a backdrop Robyn would be proud of. Onto this canvas is sprinkled the intricate little details—a groovy, wah-fueled guitar solo here, the occasional mighty power-chord there.

Unsurprisingly however, the real star is Mays himself — although not how you’d think.

More speaking than singing, he’s every bit the 80s synth-star his backing band need him to be. He’s charming, coy, and he makes you wanna move your feet. The man who brought us “Cocaine Cowgirl” and “Queen of Portland Street” has turned 40 and just wants to dance. But don’t worry, it’s not vapid lyrics. After all, he’s still the same haunted man, only now he moonwalks (I wish!)

You wake up with a strange new feeling
like you may be saved

And the fever breaks, 
Like a perfect wave. 
So you get out of bed, smile at yourself
In the mirror. 
And that missing part of you, 
Has never been clearer.
Let there be love.
Matt Mays © Devin McLean

Matt Mays © Devin McLean



Inspired by seeing the world’s affairs bring a lot of the people around him down, the lyrics are almost betrayed by its disco vibe. Thankfully, Mays’ duality strikes again with the digital B-side; an acoustic version. A somber, almost rueful affair, it captures the sadness that  is danced away in the original. The same vibe as Twice Upon A Hell Of A Time, the acoustic guitar and piano play off each other mournfully.

It isn’t that one is better, rather they compliment each other by covering all of the emotional spectrum: The original captures the hope and the true sense that love love can conquer all, while the acoustic version realizes the sense of loss and despair.

It’s a beautiful contrast that not only captures our world currently, but also Matt Mays’ career as well.

Stream: “Let There Be Love” – Matt Mays



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Let There Be Love - Matt Mays

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Oliver Crook

Oliver Crook is a Canada-based journalist who has been playing guitar and deciphering lyrics since he first heard Sum 41’s “Fat Lip” blasting through his older brother’s bedroom walls. Although his taste has (somewhat) developed since then, his passion is just as strong as ever. When not writing about music, he can be found drinking too much coffee, complaining about the finickiness of avocados, and being disappointed by all of his favourite sports teams.