Today’s Song: Matt Dorrien Explores the Melancholy on His Quietly Lovely “That Gets Me Through”

Matt Dorrien © Vincent Bancheri
Matt Dorrien © Vincent Bancheri
The delicate “That Gets Me Through” is the centerpiece of Matt Dorrien’s rich, intimate and sonically beautiful new album, ‘Blue Pastoral,’ out now on Mama Bird Recording Co.
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Stream: “That Gets Me Through” – Matt Dorrien




Finding contentment and peace in life amidst the tumult and struggle – especially as a solo artist in the music industry, navigating a post-pandemic world – actually comes down to letting go, at times, at least according to Portland pianist and songwriter Matt Dorrien.

While out on the road last year with Courtney Marie Andrews, Dorrien learned to take solace in his anonymity, playing solo at the piano every night, eventually blossoming into a sense of contentment with his place in life and his love back home.

The result of that realization? The quietly beautiful “That Gets Me Through,” the first single off this May’s recently-released Blue Pastoral.

Blue Pastoral - Matt Dorrien
Blue Pastoral – Matt Dorrien
God, I’m getting so tired of this rain
By late December I’m already dying to get away
But I’ve got work here and that’s more than some can say
Better quit my complaining and behave
I used to dream, but now I only sleep
At least now when I wake up you’re lying next to me
Once I was alone on a tightrope walking
Sometimes I hear that old voice talking
“Man, you’re running out of time
There are people out here willing to bleed.”

Dorrien himself notes its significance and the idea of the journey as the destination itself.

Dorrien says it’s “my song about aging, finding love, acceptance, and peace despite having not achieved my life’s dreams. I acquiesce to anonymity in exchange for importance in the eyes of the one I love.”

Matt Dorrien © Vincent Bancheri
Matt Dorrien © Vincent Bancheri



“That Gets Me Through” pays homage to singer/songwriters like Randy Newman and Paul Simon, and also works in intricate string arrangements, of which Dorrien says he’s “most proud” of on the delicate and subtle, yet soaring song.

But I gave it my best shot
I’m okay with being no one
If I’m someone to you
These days that gets me through
The years stretch out behind me like a reel of faded tape
I’m terrified of looking back and facing my mistakes
But every misstep that I took led me to this place
I ain’t concerned much anymore with winning any race

The track itself is tinged with nods to American culture and Americana music, as is the rest of the album, reflective of Dorrien’s upbringing on Long Island as the son of a first-generation Filipino immigrant mother (his parents loved and played music by everyone from Sinatra to Dionne Warwick as Dorrien grew up).

The song is intricate and carefully crafted, as well as rich and warm, like the work of the songwriters Dorrien nods to throughout Blue Pastoral. It’s full of important revelations and a sense of gratitude, as Dorrien recognizes the fact that he’s got work in his life is much more than some can say.

Matt Dorrien 'Blue Pastoral' poster
Matt Dorrien ‘Blue Pastoral’ poster



Dorrien even nods to this when he croons, “better quit my complaining and behave.”

Lately home’s the only thing that preoccupies my thoughts
I’m still writing songs, but not at any cost
I’m just trying to make up for time lost
Baby, I’m so happy our paths crossed
‘Cause I was running out of time
A prisoner of illusions and dreams
But I gave it my best shot
I’m okay with being no one
If I’m someone to you
These days that gets me through

“That Gets Me Through” expands on those themes of perspective and gratitude, as Dorrien also sings, “At least now when I wake up, you’re lying next to me.” That sense of recovery and of better days ahead is a stark yet welcome contrast to his previous LP, the somber and post-breakup-inflected In the Key of Grey.

Matt Dorrien © Vincent Bancheri
Matt Dorrien © Vincent Bancheri



The most important moment in the song, however, is this all-knowing, all-consuming Dorrien lyric: “I gave it my best shot / I’m okay with being no one / If I’m someone to you / These days, that gets me through.”

Used to be I was consumed by a need
For leaving my mark on this world
Now I’m only concerned with one thing
And that’s you and me, girl
No more running out of time
Because of you, I’m finally free
To give it my best shot
I’m okay with being no one
If I’m someone to you
These days that gets me through

In fact, “That Gets Me Through” is a song full of important moments, revelations, and realizations.

Dorrien seems to have found inner peace and a sense of contentment, especially when he notes: “Now I’m only concerned with one thing, and that’s you and me, girl. No more running out of time; because of you, I’m finally free.” 

The idea of finally feeling free? That’s a sense of calm and joy worth holding onto as tight as you can.

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:: stream/purchase Blue Pastoral here ::
Stream: “That Gets Me Through” – Matt Dorrien



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Blue Pastoral - Matt Dorrien

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📸 © Vincent Bancheri


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