Matt Epp Just Wants To Live Free (Whatever That Means)

The Toronto troubadour sets off on a new adventure with his latest single & album.

Matt Epp charts an adventurous course on his new single and video Live Free — showcasing today on Tinnitist.

Taken from the Toronto troubadour’s 13th studio album Rolling Wave, the uplifting roots-pop gem is a testament to following life’s calls to adventure, while shaking off the fear of getting hurt in the process: “Picking up speed, rolling down the hill / Scraping your knee is just a part of the thrill,” Epp sings. “Do you bleed? / Are you taking chances? / Do you have loving arms around you? / Live free, whatever that means.”

Epp certainly knows. He has been following his own path through the Canadian music scene for more than a decade with his unique blend of folk, blues, and Americana. His confessional songwriting and intimate performance style have gained him a worldwide following and a 2017 Grand Prize win at the International Songwriting Competition.

Rolling Wave marks a transition into what the artist calls a new era. Recorded mostly alone in a converted rural “Art Church” on the shore of Lake Huron, Rolling Wave recounts Epp’s spiritual journey amid pandemic-era isolation. Epp channels themes of presence, connection and nature, embracing both joy and sorrow as equally important elements of the human experience.

“A rolling wave represents to me the cyclical balance of life; the sacred deepening of grief and experience of ecstasy; natural law and consequences; a powerful enveloping embrace and pull into itself,” Epp says. “One can ride the wave if they surrender to it, and be crushed by trying to control it.”

Epp says creating the album was a “playful, free and spiritual process” that helped him lean into life’s ebbs and flows in the face of devastating personal upheaval. The end of his marriage, the death of a friend and the loss of all of his belongings to a break-in “opened the gates of my heart to experience some kind of rebirth.

“I began to learn self-acceptance, self-love, and to know that I too held my own medicine; that I have the honour and responsibility to scatter it around the world,” Epp says. “My takeaway lessons included relinquishing my sense of control, giving thanks for difficult tests, and holding everything I have with open hands.”

Epp says he learned to record himself during this time, which gave him more time to experiment with lush backing vocals and guitar layers than he would have allowed for in a studio. “The result is a sound more reflective of the purity and magic of the exploratory demo process; usually elusive to the artist trying to create perfection in the studio,” he says.

Watch the video for Live Free above, check out Rolling Wave below, and keep up with Matt Epp on his website, Instagram, TikTok and Facebook.