Home Every Time I’m
Gone hits the airwaves
The new single by country musician Matt Henry, which hits the airwaves today, is a frank and honest look inside his life and has become a favourite with fans.
The single, Home Every Time I’m Gone, from Matt’s debut EP Life By Proxy, wasn’t initially slated as a single release, but has been so warmly embraced by the fans that it has taken on a life of its own.
The song is the most downloaded track from his EP and the most streamed track online, so releasing it as his first 2015 single was something of a natural progression.
After graduating from the Country Music Academy in 2011, Matt has quickly earned a reputation for his solid live performances and songwriting prowess.
Life By Proxy was released at the end of 2013 and debuted at number 30 in the iTunes country charts and earned acclaim from industry heavyweights and fans alike. Recorded with ARIA-nominated producer Anthony Lycenko (Pete Murray, Busby Marou), the EP is an apt-representation of what Matt is about as a songwriter.
It’s really no surprise that Home Every Time I’m Gone has resonated the way it has with fans.
It is a track where Matt had to draw deep to bring the song to fruition.
“I went through a difficult time in my life where I suffered from anxiety so badly that I struggled every time that I left the house,” he says. “There were lengthy periods where I wouldn’t go anywhere, and when I did, I had panic attacks. I didn’t feel safe away from home. It was around this time that I was writing more and more – music started picking up and I was travelling more often to play at venues that got further and further away from home. It was really fraught for me because I was doing what I loved but I really suffered every time I did it.
“My girlfriend was so supportive through this time. I felt that if I could take the best part of home with me, that feeling of wellbeing when I was there, then I would be able to cope. I’d be home every time I’m gone.”
Matt has recently been out on the road for a string of tour dates and out of every set, Home Every Time I’m Gone is the song that really touches people. “People really relate to the feeling of missing home, your loved ones and your comforts,” he says. “I have had people come up to me in tears after shows and told me who they are missing and why. I really love that. As a performer, it sounds a bit clichéd to say that you are wanting to connect with your audience, but it is true nonetheless. To be able to share our feelings and experiences is what makes us feel like we are human beings who are not alone in the world. Given that this song was borne through my anxiety and insecurities, if I have been able to turn those negative emotions of loneliness into positive ones of sharing, then I am a happy man.”
Unsurprisingly, actually penning the track came in the face of some of these trying times for Matt. Part of the song was actually written while he was on the road. He says he was listening to Neil Young’s Harvest and wanted to write a country song with a similar tempo. “I love that loping, lingering nature of that feel,” he says. “I had the chords and the melody, but I was leaving for Tamworth for the country music festival and I was suffering pretty badly with anxiety… somewhere outside of Armidale this line came to me, home is not a place, it’s a feeling that you get that you’re not alone, I’ll picture your face, and I’m home every time I’m gone. My anxiety quickly disappeared not only because the sentiment of the lyric helped me, but also because I had just written a nice little song.”
When it came to recording the track on the EP Life By Proxy, Matt perfected the sound in the studio with revered musician Jeremy Marou (of Busby Marou fame). Jeremy was playing bass on the EP, but when he heard Home Every Time I’m Gone he picked up the acoustic guitar instead. “He immediately started playing the arpeggios that are in the final mix and it all just worked,” Matt says. “He had a feel for the song straight away. What he played was so beautiful. Everyone knows him as a crazy fast guitarist with all the licks, but he has a real sensitivity to his playing too. I don’t think that has been heard much but you can certainly hear it on this track. As the song developed in the studio, we all got more and more excited by it and it is the song on the EP of which I am most proud.”