Mat Kearney on new album ‘Crazytalk’ and what fulfills him most as an artist

Mar 17, 2018

Article By:Michael Dolce// Special to amNewYork

Mat Kearney has a dilemma.

With the release of “Crazytalk” — his first new album since 2015’s “Just Kids” — the singer-songwriter faces the daunting task of increasing his set list as he embarks on his latest tour.

“You feel like you’re leaving your children behind when you don’t play certain songs,” Kearney admits, before also acknowledging the inherent upside in an expanding array of songs. “You have more firepower to put on a great show.”

Kearney chatted with amNewYork about “Crazytalk,” his collaboration with EDM producer AFSHeeN and the weird moment when he heard his music on TV.

“Crazytalk” is the first new release from you in almost three years. What can fans expect from the record?

I collaborated with a few really talented electronic artist/producers. So the record has this Nashville singer-songwriter feel along with some interesting chill electronic sounds.

You collaborated with electronic producer AFSHeeN for “Better Than I Used To Be” — how did he inspire you and push you in new directions on the track?

We wrote that song really early on in the process and AFSHeeN and his production partner Josh Cumbee pretty much ran with the production. I loved it so much, it ended up being a huge building block for the rest of the record.

You’ve released four new tracks from the upcoming record, which is a lot, but seems to be the trend among artist these days.

I think it’s a great moment for fans these days because artists are putting out music more frequently. If you like a song you can just put it out which wasn’t always the case. The challenge is finding a moment to rally everyone around like a tour or an album.

Your music has been used in various TV shows and movies. Have you ever had the experience of watching something and all of a sudden there’s your music playing?

Yeah it’s happened a few times and is always fun. I was watching the show “Parenthood” way after it had been released and one of my songs came on and I was pleasantly surprised. It’s fun when your music is part of a world you had lived in as viewer and a fan.

What’s your single greatest concert highlight? What’s the one moment that comes to your mind as the ultimate fulfilling experience for you as an artist?

Opening for John Mayer at Madison Square Garden [in 2007] was really special. It was a tough show but we dug deep and actually got a standing ovation by the end. It was a moment I will never forget because it felt like validation early on in my career.