Review by Nick Manduley

July 19, 2021

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For decades, Asbury Park has existed as a crown jewel within the musical mecca that is New Jersey. An immeasurable amount of acts (especially the Jersey-based ones!) big and small have likely, at some point, found themselves in Asbury one way or another; many even call it home. This small coastal town always gives the warmest welcomes to its musicians, whether it’s a major production on the Stone Pony Summer Stage or an intimate basement gig at Bond Street Bar. So, it’s no surprise that there’s a handful of tunes out there dedicated to Asbury Park and the significance it holds; songwriter Jake Mathison is now the latest artist to add to that growing handful with his newest single, “I Left My Heart in Asbury Park,” which dropped on June 27th.

Once a resident of New Jersey’s iconic coastline, Mathison now finds himself in Minnesota as the proud father of two wonderful girls and an active member of his community. The singer-songwriter serves on his local city council, runs a non-profit theater, and works for public housing; when he’s not pumping out the jams, of course.

Mathison’s latest love letter to Asbury is laden with bright acoustic guitar, kicking off with a soaring harmonica melody. His country-folk vocal stylings juxtapose beautifully with splashes of piano, as he offers lyrical musings on various Asbury landmarks: “I hear the sounds from the Wonder Bar, through the echoes of this place / I see the glow from the Empress shine on the smile Tillie’s face.”

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The chorus comes in with that sweet titular hook; the track exploding with seemingly more instrumentation each time the section comes around. The drums pepper themselves in subtly, bursting onto the scene as the first chorus kicks into gear. The second verse offers melodic touches from twinkling bells and decadent, bluesy saxophone.

I Left My Heart in Asbury Park” is an undoubtedly wondrous addition to the lexicon of media surrounding the legendary Monmouth County town. Fans can stream the new single on all major streaming services.

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Nick Manduley is an aspiring music journalist and musician from Bradley Beach, NJ. He is currently an intern at Relix Magazine where he helps produce and curate online content. Since 2016, he has provided guitars and vocals for the local punk band Drive, Kid. Drive, Kid released an EP and a full-length album in 2018, and are currently recording their sophomore LP.

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