Crys Matthews & Heather Mae
Saturday, June 3, 2023
Already being hailed as “the next Woody Guthrie,” Crys Matthews is among the brightest stars of the new generation of social justice music-makers. A powerful lyricist whose songs of compassionate dissent reflect her lived experience as what she lightheartedly calls "the poster-child for intersectionality," Justin Hiltner of Bluegrass Situation called Matthews’s gift "a reminder of what beauty can occur when we bridge those divides." She is made for these times and, with the release of her new, hope-fueled, love-filled social justice album Changemakers, Matthews hopes to take her place alongside some of her heroes in the world of social-justice music like Sweet Honey in the Rock and Holly Near. Of Matthews, ASCAP VP & Creative Director Eric Philbrook says, “By wrapping honest emotions around her socially conscious messages and dynamically delivering them with a warm heart and a strong voice, she lifts our spirits just when we need it most in these troubled times.
“I believe in hope,” Matthews said. “As a social-justice songwriter, it is my duty to keep breathing that hope and encouragement into the people who listen to my music.” And, from the title track to the last track, Changemakers does just that all while tackling some heavy topics like immigration, the opioid crisis, Black Lives Matter, and gun safety to name a few.“ Ani DiFranco said, “People used to make records as in a record of an event," said Matthews, “so I hope that these songs will serve as a time capsule, a record of the events of the last four years and what it was like to live through them.” Crys Matthews's thoughtful, realistic and emotional songs speak to the voice of our generation and remind us why music indeed soothes the soul.
Unfazed by what a typical pop artist today is “supposed” to look like and how the typical pop artist is “supposed” to sound, Heather Mae, an award-winning songwriter whose evocative vocals and rhythmic piano style call to mind artists like Stevie Nicks and Sara Bareilles, creates intoxicating music that tackles complex topics surrounding mental health, LGBTQ+ issues, self-love, racial injustice, social inequality, and women’s rights. Inspired by her own personal experiences and identities - a queer, plus size woman living with Bipolar Disorder - and those of her multifaceted fans with whom she has forged connections throughout her many years of touring across the United States, Mae crafts powerful lyrics and unforgettable music about life’s moments--from the quietly chaotic to the explosive.
In 2016, after an eight-month period of silence to recover from vocal nodules, Mae made a vow: she would dedicate her career to solely write music that made the world a better place. Her independently-released debut EP I AM ENOUGH, which reached #58 on iTunes Pop Album charts, was her announcement to the world. Mae, who was dubbed “the new queer Adele” by L-Mag, envelopes her audience with a message of hope.
Her newest project, GLIMMER, is a collection of nine songs supporting one central theme:” Feel To Heal.” Within the grooves of the new album, Mae wrestles with the complexities of existing as a human with mental illness. From her #MeToo-inspired feminist anthem “Warrior,” featuring a choir of 100+ female vocalists, to “You Are My Favorite”, a love song written for her wife inspired by her own wedding vows which will surely be the 2019 wedding soundtrack for LGBTQ+ couples, Mae shows she’s nothing less than a powerhouse. She has examined her struggle with Bipolar Disorder from every angle in order to create her most sonically adventurous set of recordings yet--and to remind us that we aren’t alone.