One of the most exhilarating experiences that accompanies running a publication like Heartbreaking Bravery is when a personal submission winds up making a mark. For over three years, the vast majority of what’s been sent through to the site’s inbox hasn’t connected for one reason or another. So when a project like Matthew Terrones’ Neutral Shirt sends something as inspired as the upcoming 2016 EP over, it can comes as a galvanizing shock to the system and serve as a reminder of why places like these exist in the first place: to feature exceptional new music (and artists) whose work isn’t receiving the audience it deserves.
Since receiving 2016 — which is slated to arrive on January 6, 2017 — the EP’s been in near-constant rotation. “Dust On Your Shelf” is one of many relatively unassuming highlights that ably demonstrates what makes Neutral Shirt a project worth watching. There’s a laid-back, almost romantic nonchalance that’s been present in Alex G‘s best work, an insistence that draws the listener in and keeps them riveted, and a comprehensive understanding of craft that’s typically only attained by a veteran artist (the first Neutral Shirt release came earlier this year and included a revealing demo of “Dust On Your Shelf”).
A song about the feeling of helpless neglect, “Dust On Your Shelf” acutely conveys a very specific type of heartache while remaining lively enough to make the pain easy to swallow. It’s an immense piece of punk-tinged bedroom pop from a burgeoning artist who seems poised for an astonishing run that will likely earn Terrones a lot of converts to the church of Neutral Shirt. Resilient, lonesome, and surprisingly urgent “Dust On Your Shelf” is as good of a starting point into Neutral Shirt’s world as any and it deserves serious investment. Dive in and get lost to its spell.
Listen to “Dust On Your Shelf” below and keep an eye on this site for more updates on Neutral Shirt and 2016.