Matt Jordan shares a glimpse of his small town upbringing in his new single, “Heart of the Heartland,” which Sounds Like Nashville premieres today. The St. Louis, MO, native penned the anthemic country rock song with Jordan Brooker and the pair quickly bonded over their mutual Midwestern upbringing.
“For this song, Jordan and I were able to recall our memories from our youth and the restlessness that just about anyone growing up in a small town relates to,” Jordan tells Sounds Like Nashville. “I wanted to really capture that teenage sense of adventure and restlessness.”
Jordan’s whiskey soaked vocals combined with Brooker’s cosmic lyrical imagery paints the picture of a young couple seeking adventure far away from their hometown. The descriptive verses and warm guitar parts intrigue and as the song picks up the listener is along for the ride thanks to a rollicking beat and arena-ready chorus.
“We’re the only souls awake in this whole town/ Can’t keep waiting on the clock on the courthouse/ If we’re looking for a moment to get out, it’s right now,” Jordan sings on the first verse. It’s this lyric that holds special meaning to the singer.
“I think when people are on the brink of a big adventure or a life-changing decision, they often wait for a ‘sign’ or the exact right moment,” he explains. “And I don’t believe that moment ever comes – if you want to go do something, only you can make it happen. So why put it off?”
It’s a lesson Jordan learned firsthand chasing after his musical dream. After taking a break to focus on his family, the singer-songwriter has kicked things back into high gear and now splits his time between St. Louis and Nashville.
“Heart of the Heartland” is the first song Jordan and Brooker wrote together. A fan of Brooker’s music, Jordan says his collaborator brought unique sounds and infectious melodies into the writing session. Meanwhile, Jordan’s longtime producer Sal Oliveri took their song and raised it a notch.
“He has such an incredible ear and I think that can be heard in the dynamics of this song,” Jordan says of Oliveri. “The verses are kind of spacy and ambient and really help set the landscape of a lonely small town. But then he builds the choruses so well that suddenly, you feel like you’re on the highway driving off to a new life.”
It’s exactly this feeling that Jordan wants to share with listeners.
“I hope this song makes people roll down their windows, drive fast and turn the volume up loud,” he says. “I hope they’ll be singing this song at the top of their lungs.”
“Heart of the Heartland” is the first taste of new music from Jordan since his 2021 EP Middle of Everything. He says the track is a good indication of what’s to come as well as a glimpse into his musical influences.
“I’m really leaning in, as a writer, to a more heartland rock genre sound and that’s what this song is to me,” he says. “Sonically, fans will know it’s a Matt Jordan song, but the stuff I’m working on now feels like my take on the music I grew up on, like Springsteen, Mellencamp and Petty.”