Here at the Send Me Your Ears studio, we’ve been listening to Justin Mattock’s latest single, Seventeen, released on January 6, 2023.

Canada’s Mattock has been on the Canadian music scene since 2014 in various guises and genres, but this latest solo project sees him hitting his stride as an authentic modern country artist.

Seventeen is a modern country song which has hit potential written all over it. Starting with some cute banjo picking to set the mood, the track quickly moves into a full-band sound which brings in a beautiful country guitar solo: one which repeats several times throughout the song and serves to keep making the song even more appealing to its listeners. It is a real skill to produce a track which already feels familiar to the listener and gives it instant appeal to country music fans.

The instrumentation is authentic and the dynamic soundscape is well-considered and spot-on. Much thought has clearly been given to every second of this track to squeeze out the perfect combination of chords, melody and instrumentation to ensure the listener is gripped from start to finish.

Vocally, Mattocks voice suits this style of music perfectly. With just the right amount of twang and attitude, his clear and present vocals sit front and centre, taking the listener on a lyrical journey of life in a small town for a 17-year-old – the perfect subject matter for a positive country song. We loved the lyric “she wore that plastic ring I bought.”

Fans of the song Wagon Wheel, for example, will fall in love with this track’s easy and catchy melodies and patterns. We love the breakdown with vocal and guitar which builds back up into a rousing chorus to the end.

Seventeen is a song which grips you all the way through. A song which has plenty of radio airplay potential, but also one which would work nicely in the background of a TV show about life in a small town, perhaps.

Ideas from our ears

A cut around 60-65Hz and a small boost around 125Hz would balance out the low end nicely. A wider cut centred around 800-900Hz would reduce some slightly ‘honky’ and ‘nasal’ tones. A small boost around 4-5kHz would increase the presence too. As always these are just some ideas from our ears.

Final thoughts

Justin Mattocks’s latest single, Seventeen, is a hit. There are no two ways about it! For fans of modern country music, this is an absolute must.