EP Premiere: Matt Paxton’s Raw & Heartfelt ‘Hunter Street Station Blues’

Matt Paxton © 2017
Matt Paxton © 2017
Recommended If You Like: Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Dante Matas

There’s a kind of forlorn, raw vulnerability about singer/songwriter Matt Paxton’s Hunter Street Station Blues EP: A humbling mix of acoustic folk and blues strikes a poignant chord through the illustrative lyrics and stark, heartfelt melodies in a four very sad, very honest songs of longing, love, and leaving.

And I remember how the last time went, and any money was always spent
And all the words and sentiments, I hate how the last time went
So here I lie, under your sky, in the New Sydney Rio
So, baby don’t go, baby don’t go, baby don’t go
Baby don’t go, baby don’t go, baby don’t go
Hunter Street Station Blues – Matt Paxton
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Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering Matt Paxton’s new EP Hunter Street Station Blues (out July 21, 2017 via Other Songs Music Co). Armed with little more than his words and a few guitars (and perhaps the occasional harmonica), the Hamilton, Ontario-based singer/songwriter crafts a vivid, quaint tale of heartbreak. His music is simple, yet each song cuts deeper than the last – an impressive skill that highlights this individual’s talent, as well as the time-tested, heart-approved everlasting power of storytelling.

Hunter Street Station Blues EP - Matt Paxton
Hunter Street Station Blues EP – Matt Paxton
Well honey you got me thinking out loud
My feet in the puddles, my head in the clouds
I remember that party down on Caroline
Ever since that night,
I was dying to make you mine

You laid me down, turned me around
Ain’t no talking town’s
going to change what I’ve found

Well I’ve been drunk, and I’ve been high
And I’ve been thinking of you
In my Hunter Street Station blues

“I recorded my new EP ‘Hunter Street Station Blues‘ in early Spring of 2017,” recalls Paxton. “I’ve found myself often coming back to my hometown to record when I needed a break from the west coast. Recently I decided to move home. Hamilton is where my label Other Songs Music Co is based out of, as well as Threshold Recording Studios where the album was recorded. Not to mention, it’s homebase for a lot of friends and family. The EP is connected to long distance love and loss, the “ups and downs,” and the “all arounds,” During the past three years, I was all around Western Canada and USA, with my heart still in Hamilton, ON. Simply, it’s a Hamilton / Vancouver long distance call.”

Matt Paxton © 2017
Matt Paxton © 2017

We feel that energy swell with potent emotion in every song. Whether his wistful love is on home or a person, Hunter Street Station Blues is swimming with this innate desire to connect. Atwood Magazine had the pleasure of chatting with Matt Paxton about each of his four new songs:

  • “Baby Don’t Go” is the classic tale of trying to hold on to something you know you have to inevitably let go of. It’s about the challenges of maintaining a connection through distance.
  • “Hunter Street Station Blues” is reminiscing of good things in hard times. The station is the main travel hub in the heart of my hometown of Hamilton, Ontario.
  • “I Want You (All to Myself)” has to do with wanting something so bad while ignoring any outside influences. I was listening to a lot of Neil Young’s “From Hank to Hendrix” at the time.
  • “Put It All Back Together” is about moving on from hurt, finding a place for the dust to settle and then eventually rebuilding. This song was written in a quick sitting on Granville Island when I lived in Vancouver.
Matt Paxton © 2017
Matt Paxton © 2017
It didn’t take long till I found this song
And I hit the beach, met a bleach blonde
Who said “hey hey come on come on,
You’re love’s too good for her”
She brought blues skies, opened up my eyes
But made me dance and made cry
She made me sing and made me lie
And write it all down
I’ll just grab my hat and I won’t look back
Find somewhere to have a heart attack
Then find someone to put it all back
I’ll just grab my hat and I won’t look back
Find somewhere to have a heart attack
Then find someone to put it all back together

Paxton’s EP opens with a single, somber guitar strum – immediately setting the tone and timbre of his modern story of distance, nostalgia, and temporality. Yet it ends with a glimpse of positivity: “Put It All Together” has that skeptic positivity of one who has known darkness for long, and knows there is a light to come – but has yet to fully embrace it. It’s a wavering feeling we can all relate to – that knowledge of how recovery works, without our mind and body’s full willingness to go along. Yet while Paxton feels fully embroiled in pain at the start, by the time he says goodbye, we feel him ready to go: To put this part of his life behind him and embark on a new journey, with pencil and paper in hand.

An old-school songwriter with a heart of gold, Matt Paxton sings for the lovers, the dreamers, and hopeful and the humbled. One can imagine him walking slowly into town, guitar by his side, eager to find the nearest cafe and share his story. Songwriting is a magical gift – one which this rising artist wears with pride, and rightfully so. We can’t wait for his next musical tale.

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Hunter Street Station Blues EP - Matt Paxton

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