Artist Spotlight: Matt Sucich

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Whenever he’s on stage, Matt Sucich strikes a balance between light-hearted, straightforward humor and profound, evocative lyrics. His audience inches closer towards the stage while Sucich sways with ease. His backing band adds a piano, electric guitar, bass, and drums to his vocals and acoustic guitar, adding different layers to the songs that are funny but serious, sarcastic but fervent. Sucich also inserts witty, honest stories in between his songs, showcasing what makes his music so alluring and attractive: he’s a storyteller with the ability to turn a string of metaphors and similes into images and ideas that linger long after the song ends.

On “House of Cards,” Sucich uses different phrases to convey a story that is purposefully vague. Before leading into the chorus, he warns his listener: “I’ve got a mind to clear/I’ve got you on my mind.” The chorus in turn displays how Sucich plans to clear his mind, comparing himself to a house of cards before determining: “I’m standing tall/In the belly of a whale.” The lyrical play on “House of Cards,” which appears on his second LP Layers (2012), informs not only his words, but also the way he figures them into his music. Elsewhere on Layers, Sucich manages to merge Latin jazz and world music vibes with an acoustic rock on the exceptional tune, “Singin’ Fairytale Blues.” “Supposing I Was Tough,” on the other hand, is an indie-pop tune with a backing rhythm that sounds like a steady march as he utters lines like: “Supposing I was tough when I met you/Suppose I had my good foot down.”

On his debut record, Jealousy & Jubilation (2011), Sucich expresses what songwriting can do for the writer. The title track begins with the omission: “I guess I done a lot of things wrong/But I can always hide behind a pretty song.” As Sucich’s works suggest, it’s not just about avoiding wrongs; it’s also about making amends. And Jealousy & Jubilation does just that, with softer dynamics and hushed singing.

Sucich continues telling stories on his most recent single, “The Lonely Dreamer.” The song relates the tale of a lonely or solitary dreamer wandering through different experiences. The equally blissful and wistful mood of the song—evoked by the recurring riff that animates Sucich’s gentle, assertive words—reminds the listener that, despite all the seriousness, there’s a wink with every verse, every word.  Sucich, who is from Astoria in Queens, will play at the Postcrypt Coffeehouse  at Columbia University on April 26 and Rockwood Music Hall on May 3.

Article by Pam Segura