My Sunday Song – “Last Days of Summer in San Francisco” by Matt Nathanson

For My Sunday Song #217, we will talk about the song “Last Days of Summer in San Francisco” by Matt Nathanson. The song is off his 2013 album “Last of the Great Pretenders” which went to #16 on the Billboard charts. The song was never released as a single, but most of Matt’s songs aren’t and it is those deep cuts that draw me to his music. Okay that and the incredible song writing.

“Last Days of Summer in San Francisco” is like a lot of songs on this album that seem to be a love letter to San Francisco with shout-outs to locations and landmarks. This particular song seems to be about a powerful Summer love that helped define the person who he became. The person showed them who they were and gave them the strength to do things they didn’t think they could even if some of them were stupid stuff. It sounds like a Summer romance that blew hot and then burned out. But it is that first verse that sums up the song to me perfectly…

We spent July in a Berkeley basement,
Half read books, and bold declarations.
There was so much I didn’t believe in
And then, there was you.
You made me brave,
You made me stupid
Gave me this skin, that I could move in.

It is that kind of writing that makes Matt so special. His word phrasing, his pacing, it is all just brilliance to me. His music connects to the most human of experiences and emotions. He sings of life, love and heartache in ways most people dream they could do.

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My Sunday Song – “Kinks Shirt” by Matt Nathanson

For My Sunday Song #212, we are going to discuss the song “Kinks Shirt” by Matt Nathanson. The song is off his 2013 album, ‘Last of the Great Pretenders’ and in July of that year he released this song as a video and a single.  It was one of the fun songs on the album that shows he isn’t all heartbreak and sadness and that sometimes he can be a good mood or at least sound like he is.

The song was actually inspired by an actual girl that was wearing a Kinks Shirt.  You know The Kinks, who doesn’t love The Kinks?  No one, that is who.  While recording the album, Matt and his producer and band mates would visit this diner quite frequently, I mean like every day for lunch.  There was a girl that worked there with tattoos and piercings and nothing like someone that Matt would normally be attracted to maybe, but someone he was obsessed with.  Not in a crazy stalker way, but more fantasizing way.  He was so mesmerized by her that she inspired this song.

The song is an uptempo pop song, plain and simple.  It is so catchy, fun and you can’t help but get caught up in the beat and dance around a little.  Lyrically, Matt paints a vivid picture of this girl wearing The Kinks shirt and you can picture every little detail about her and how she makes him feel.  Who hasn’t had a girl at one time you were mentally in love with, but never approached her to see what could’ve been.

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