Boston Accent

Album: Boston Accent (2022)
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Songfacts®:

  • Matt Nathanson grew up in the Boston area but made his mark in San Francisco, where he moved in 1991 before releasing his debut album, Please, in 1993. In "Boston Accent," the title track to his 2022 album, he considers his hot-and-cold affiliation with the city.

    "As I get older I feel an unrealistic connection to my Boston roots," he said in a Songfacts interview. "It's the kind of thing where if there's a serial killer and they have a Boston accent, I'll be like, 'What's up, buddy?'

    It's a crazy thing because I don't subscribe to teams, I don't want to be part of a group, it isn't the way I live my life. But every time I hear a Boston accent somewhere, I stop and say, 'Where are you from in Mass?' It's this crazy allegiance. I think this record is really about accepting who I am versus who I wanted to be. I moved to California 31 years ago but the record's called Boston Accent."
  • The song tells the story about reconnecting with a girl from Boston. Elements of the song are true, but much of it is made up. "Sometimes, it's just easier to process a subject like that through the lens of fiction... or in this case, mostly fiction," Nathanson said. "Telling a story like that allows you to show parts of yourself with more vulnerability and honesty than you probably could otherwise. I'm real proud of this song. it's like a little movie."
  • Many Boston families are very close, but Nathanson's isn't, so when he sings about the city, it's a different vibe. "My family doesn't work like a normal family," he told Songfacts. "We're not close, we don't really even like each other, and that's fine. We don't have relationships. It's weird to have a pull to the place you're from, and I've kind of fought that, and I've also fought being a singer-songwriter. Like, I don't want to just play acoustic guitar and sing, and when I do, I'm like, Oh, this is how the song works best for me. So the whole record is about accepting the things I thought I saw as limitations that are actually my strengths. We spend our lives pushing for other shit, when really the stuff that's magical and our superpowers are there."
  • Nathanson wrote this song with the Canadian singer Donovan Woods. They toured together after the album was released.

    The track was produced by Butch Walker, one of the more prolific folks in the business. Other albums he's produced include Pink's I'm Not Dead, Sevendust's Seasons, and Taylor Swift's Red.

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