Nashville-based singer/songwriter Mat Kearney just released his fifth album, “Crazytalk.” Over the years he’s gone from major-label hitmaker and now back to indie songster, blending tender pop and clubby texture.
Kearney is a new father, and this time he was in a mood to collaborate, connecting with young DJs. Starting out as a soccer-playing English major, Kearney began writing songs in college. He’s pulling from tropical house and other DJ-centric styles these days. But Kearney still sounds a lot like Coldplay’s Chris Martin.
Kearney sings about patience and endurance, being prepared to go on the long haul. There are mountains to climb and connections that get missed. But Kearney is a romantic, writing about heartache is a kind of exquisite pleasure. On “Better Than I Used To Be,” a collaboration with DJ AFSHeen, squishy aquatic noises behind sparse guitar make the song sound like Kearney is drawing on recent hits by artists like Justin Bieber and Shawn Mendes.
Mat Kearney will play Toad’s Place, 300 York St., New Haven, on Tuesday, March 13, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30. toadsplace.com, 203-624-8623.