By Charlie Maybee
From the opening strums of the guitar, you can tell that Matt Tarka’s new single “Postcards” is going to be a feel-good Americana jam that will be worth pressing the repeat button for. Fans of Bruce Springsteen or late Tom Petty will surely do a double take as the twanging lead guitar and gentle background synthesizers bring a contemporary approach to a classic rock feel.
Based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, this is the latest of a string of singles released in 2021 for the folk-rock aficionado. From the get-go, there’s an activation of nostalgia just from the mention of sending a postcard in the age of digital communication. As Tarka continually returns to the lyrical motif, “Send a postcard…”, it is often followed by possible promises it could contain, “… with a promise of a better life tomorrow” or “with a promise that I’ll dream of you all night.”
Ultimately, he reveals in the chorus that he may be speaking directly to a specific person in his life: “You wanna know everything / I don’t blame you anymore.” And later, “You wanna try and explain / I don’t blame you anymore.” Perhaps Tarka has been receiving these postcard promises from someone who is no longer immediately accessible.
Listeners seem to be getting glimpses into the life of someone emotionally significant to Tarka from whom he has become detached. Interestingly, the vibe isn’t sad or mopey despite this kind of sensual introspection. “Postcards” maintains an uplifting energy that demonstrates resilience and perseverance occurring at a moment when someone with less emotional intelligence might have been trapped by the weight of these poetic, passionate, and nostalgic letters.
“Postcards” is available on all major streaming platforms including Spotify, Apple Music, SoundCloud, YouTube, and Amazon Music.
Charlie Maybee is a dancer, musician, educator, and writer based in Charleston, South Carolina who currently teaches with the Dance Program at the College of Charleston. His primary work as an artist is with his performing collective, Polymath Performance Project, through which he makes interdisciplinary performance art that centers tap dance as the primary medium of expression and research. He also currently plays rhythm guitar for the Charleston-based punk band, Anergy, and releases music as a solo artist under the name Nox Eterna.
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