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The Darker Side Of (Matt Stansberry & The) Romance


Matt Stansberry’s latest project offers a sound that is both familiar and fresh - which is no small feat.

The ten-plus member band delivers this exoteric rhythm and blues-meets-modern pop vibe by way of layered horns, dual guitars, keys/organ, a ‘pocket’ rhythm section and sassy, backing vocals. 

It's a potent mixture. And the group’s sophomore release, Crash Landing, offers a little extra appeal for star-crossed lovers and all who’ve felt a touch of life’s blues.

“That was not intentional,” Stansberry said. “It was just stuff I was experiencing and observing all at the same time."

Stansberry notes the difference between Crash Landing and the band's recording debut, Let's Brighten It Up, is “directional.”

“You have brighten it up,” Stansberry said. “You have crash landing, which has a downward motion to it. It is just a little more dealing with kind of real world things.

Credit Jim Johnson
Matt Stansberry rehearsing with his band.

Though much of the material that makes up this new album came to him while supporting the band’s loftier 2012 recording debut, Stansberry can’t fully recall how, or when, he began writing the bulk of the nine songs that make up Crash Landing.

"And I really don’t even know when it ended, exactly,” Stansberry said. “I feel like we were writing as we were recording the songs, which I kind of love.”

Stansberry credits serendipity for much of what has transpired since forming Matt Stansberry & the Romance. But, as Stansberry also suggests, “life isn’t always happy, or easy.”

“Any good romance isn’t just on a high all the time,” Stansberry said. “You have to have a low to have a high, or there’s no contrast.”

That, Stansberry said, sums up his band’s musical output to date.

(Matt Stansberry & the Romance headline this month's The Mix public concert tonight in downtown Oklahoma City.)

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Jim is a journalism/mass communications graduate from the University of Oklahoma. While still a student, he became the host of what is now The Weekend Blues. He currently serves as KGOU’s Program Director where he supervises all aspects of KGOU’s on-air programming output.
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