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  • Andy Mockbee

Review: "Killing Me" - Dylan Matthew




With his latest single, Dylan Matthew wields his pristine indie pop like a battering ram. "Killing Me" is a sky-scraping power ballad carved out of resentment, rolling the vulnerable down a hill until it has enough velocity to level a city. Piano and acoustic guitar open the first verse, siphoning the vulnerability of Matthew's voice and lyricism. Even at its softest, the single arranges a lush array of instrumentation: atmospheric synths and echoes of guitar distortion swirling and pulsing. As Matthew lifts into the stratospheric chorus, his voice sits atop a shimmering wall of sound. The second verse carries ornaments of the chorus to maintain the momentum. Where the first verse felt vaguely haunting, the chorus left the lights on for clearer shapes. The bridge delivers a freight train of power balladry, Matthew's most passionate vocal performance soaring over layers upon layers of synths.





"Killing Me" reaches its ultimate destination almost elliptically. Cycling around resentments and experiences, Matthew creates a whirlwind out of fresh wounds with little indication of a direction forward. Vivid details create a personal tone to the song, such as his ex-girlfriend's "hair on the pillows" and "perfume ... stained onto my clothes." With its arena-sized sound, Matthew sounds as though he's writing a letter for only her to read. "Is there a piece of me stuck in your head?" He asks, desperate for some sense of impact beyond his own grief. Then he pulls the string that tightens "Killing Me" into a concise knot: "I would've held on through the bleeding, so maybe you finally leaving's what I needed." It's not a resolution with his ex, but rather a reconciliation with himself.



In 2019, Dylan Matthew released what would become his first RIAA Platinum-certified single, "Love Is Gone." The 26-year-old singer/songwriter has been riding an upward trajectory since: selling out massive venues, playing Coachella (as well as Lollapalooza and EDC Las Vegas), and preparing his upcoming EP. This fall, Matthew is set to release an indie-pop-centric EP that dabbles in a myriad of genre. "Killing Me," as Matthew states, is the first step along the emotional journey he plans to take listeners on in the coming months. In addition, Matthew will be supporting the record with his first North American tour called "No Rain, No Flowers."


Written By Andy Mockbee



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