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Matthew Davies makes 'Saving Up' sound like a good time

Every week, Milwaukee Music Premiere connects the city’s artists with our listening audience. If you’re an artist with a track you’d like us to debut exclusively on Radio Milwaukee, head over to our Music Submission page to learn how.

We’ve all had our days of counting loose change, scraping and saving to cobble together enough funds together to “make things happen.” Milwaukee singer-songwriter Matthew Davies waxes poetic about those penny-pinching moments on his latest song, “Saving Up” and makes all that cobbling seem almost fun. 

Funky percussion, harmonica and a spunky bass line lead the listener on a journey of buying off-brands, “using it up and wearing it out,” “shaking piggies,” and simply saving up and slowing down”.

Songwriter, singer, swimmer and father of four, Davies is a busy man to say the least. Yet he consistently finds time to turn out some really great singer-songwriter material with a keen eye for the more jaded sides of life. Davies takes the higher ground by infusing those low-lows with a substantial dose of good-natured humor.

“Saving Up” — a good exercise in exactly that — lands on Davies’ new solo album SKYWRITER, slated for release next Monday, Oct. 31, on Fox Cry Records. Fronting the Milwaukee-based Thriftones for over a decade, Davies’ new solo release finds the “sweet spot between creative life and family life,” he said. 

Davies and his wife, a talented visual artist, share a studio space and have somehow managed to avoid the traps typically associated with a growing family by making art and music a priority, he adds. 

Of the song, Davies said, “A friend of mine recently said, ‘F%$& bankers!’ I think I know what he meant, but I still put my money in the bank and have learned the best way to save money is not spend it. I wrote the song while sitting at the breakfast table counting coins with my 5-year-old son.”

As for the session at Howl Street Recordings with Shane Hochstetler, Davies said, “What you hear is a band playing together live and in the same room. A P.A. was used to amp the vocals just enough to make headphones unnecessary. I believe we captured a vibe that would not have been possible without the 'on the edge of your seat' focus that is created by time and technical limitations. 

“The groove on this recording is thanks to drummer Hayward Williams, who suggested — on the day of the session and without rehearsal — that we try it a different way and ‘sing it like you’re telling a secret.’”

You can listen to “Saving Up” here and wherever you listen to 88Nine. Davies also has a Halloween night release show coming up next Monday that doubles as an anniversary party for Circle-A in Riverwest.
"Saving Up," Matthew Davies