PHOTO COURTESY OF NATHANIEL WOOD.
When singer-songwriter Matt Maeson wrote “Cringe,” a song about destructive behavior, judgment, and heartbreak, on acoustic guitar, his producer James Flannigan “breathed a new kind of life into it,” says Maeson, with a boot-stomping beat and swelling chorus. Today, we are happy to say that it has been molded once again—this time into an electronic track by trio Miike Snow.
“‘Cringe’ came from the response of a few different people who I thought truly cared about me,” recalls Maeson of the song’s origins, “but when the going got tough, instead of caring for me, they condemned me, ultimately pushing me further into the toxic lifestyle I was living at the time.” Although its painful lyrics remain the same (“She said my spirit doesn’t move like it did before … Oh I make you cringe now / Don’t I make you cringe?”), the remix treats them differently. While the song originally ached and teemed with emotion, it now seems accepting of the reality Maeson describes; “Don’t I make you cringe?” is a statement rather than a question.
“Cringe” is the second song off of Maeson’s EP Who Killed Matt Maeson, which was released in March by Neon Gold/Atlanic Records. The EP as a whole reflects the breakout musician’s growth since touring with an outreach ministry band as a child, playing shows at prisons and motorcycle conventions across the country. He tells us that for his debut LP, which is in the works, he’s in the studio with Flannigan once more and luckily, those who enjoy “Cringe” “can expect to hear some of those same vibes sonically in the new stuff.”