Matt Alter, a Brooklyn native currently residing in North Carolina, continues his output as a solo rock artist with new single “Insomnia” – a cut from his forthcoming album, Did I Offend You?, releasing just in time for Christmas (December 15th). Maintaining that slightly diabolical alternative rock sound, “Insomnia” is another display of Alter’s ever-evolving musical ambitions. So, does “Insomnia” maintain the level of quality found on previous releases like Bitter Pill and Race to the Finish? Let’s talk about it.
Wait. What’s it about?
According to Alter, this very first taste of Did I Offend You? “is about the nightly struggle with sleep. I always imagined ‘Insomnia’ as a person that would creep into bed and keep me awake at night.” So, the song strikes an immediate connection due to its relatable subject matter.
It starts with a rolling, almost phasing snare, ominous, dirty guitar chords, and a higher, ‘80s-style synth chime bobbing above the song’s suitably filled midrange. And then, the first verse introduces us to Alter’s vocals: they’re diabolical. Haunting. The unrelenting, pestering growls of half-formed phantoms taking pleasure in stealing peace from the exhausted living.
With synth pulses accenting those propulsive drums, we hit the chorus; it’s a cleaner, higher, and perhaps more innocent vocal delivery of “Insomnia,” answered with a lyric in the previously mentioned growling and torturous tone. And above a dexterous, angry guitar riff, that ‘80s-style synth chime returns, but in this regard, it produces an unsettling eeriness.
This is certainly a darker track; something expressing the voice of both the tortured and torturer – the dialog occurring when one aspect of Alter’s personality simply wants rest, but another aspect – utterly devoid of compassion – considers it undeserved.
And after a tasteful guitar solo, we hit the final verse and repeating chorus, leading to a somewhat abrupt ending with one heck of an unresolved feeling; like skidding to a stop inches before diving off an emotional cliff.
But is it good?
When it comes from pain, from conflict, or something unresolved and always pecking, an artist’s truth can never be considered anything less than good. And if this truth rocks? Well, that only makes it better. With “Insomnia” now gathering acclaim in the wild, and with more music coming from a place of genuine unease, we can’t wait to hear the rest of Alter’s forthcoming release.
BELOW: Listen to Matt Alter and check him out on SoundCloud, Spotify, Instagram, and Facebook. Please support Matt Alter by visiting his website and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing his music. And, as always, thank you for supporting real music.