Matt Hires To Preview Sophomore Album on Matchbox Twenty Tour

New single "Restless Heart" hits that "Ho Hey" sweet spot.

Searching for a new contemporary folk-pop fix to supplement your itch for more Mumford & Sons and Lumineers? Look no further than Matt Hires' rootsy new single "Restless Heart," which was released last December and previews the F-Stop/Atlantic singer-songwriter's upcoming sophomore album, "This World Won't Last Forever, But Tonight We Can Pretend."

While "Restless Heart" was named iTunes' single of the week earlier this month, another new song, "Forever," was featured on the Jan. 24 episode of ABC's "Grey's Anatomy." Both tracks are featured on the "Forever" EP, which was released on Feb. 12 as a precursor to a full-length, due out May 7, that the 27-year-old describes as more mature than his 2009 debut, "Take Us To The Start."

"I hope that I'm always growing and stretching myself in what I do," Hires tells Billboard. The singer once again teamed with producer Eric Rosse and tinkered away on "This World Won't Last Forever" in Rosse's basement studio in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles.

"I wrote these songs over the course of two years, so there was a lot of different things I was going through, and I always draw a lot from past experience," he says. "'Restless Heart' -- that's one that was based on experiences from when I was in high school. I'm drawing from all these different things, but I mostly just wanted to make a different-sounding record."

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Hires' voice possesses an idiosyncratic element that makes him sound perpetually on the verge of an eruption as his straightforward guitar lines and piano flourishes welcome in radio listeners. The Tampa native has watched the boundaries of mainstream rock music shift since the release of "Take Us To The Start," and is more than happy to invite comparisons to his folk-leaning peers.

"I've been influenced by Bob Dylan, and old blues stuff like Mississippi John Hurt and Howlin' Wolf are some of my favorite things to listen to," he notes. "It's awesome to see that sort influence being incorporated into [popular] music these days."

"Restless Heart," which has sold 5,000 downloads to date according to Nielsen SoundScan, will be the focus track before the release of "This World Won't Last Forever, But Tonight We Can Pretend," and will receive a heavier push once Hires joins his Atlantic label mates Matchbox Twenty for a month-long tour beginning on Friday (Mar. 1) in Augusta, ME. More performances and radio appearances will come in April, ahead of his sophomore album's release.