The new Striking Matches EP is intended to offer a glimpse of the new material on the duo’s upcoming studio album. At the same time, the EP also features a cover of a song that Sarah Zimmermann believes still holds up more than 50 years after the original hit the Billboard Hot 100.
The idea to record Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth” for the three-track Retrograde came from Striking Matches’ manager, who had presented a few outside song choices to Zimmermann and bandmate Justin Davis for consideration. “But when he threw this one out,” says Zimmermann, “it really stuck with us, and we could immediately hear a way to approach it in a way that felt fresh to us.
“The song’s lyrics are still incredibly relevant today,” she adds. “It talks about passionate youth culture, the discourse of ideas and people using their voices to inspire change, which are all still very poignant in our world.”
Retrograde, due Feb. 9 via Capitol, also contains the title track (“a song about hopefulness in a strange time,” Zimmermann says) and “Desire” (“a song evoking the sensation of desire, in the adrenaline-filled-rush way”). Both tunes will appear on the upcoming second Striking Matches album, which is essentially finished. Kennedy Karate, who produced the duo’s previous EP, 2017’s Shameless, also handled those duties on the new album. “He gave us space to do what we do and helped us elevate it to some pretty interesting places,” says Zimmermann.
The album will arrive later this year, by which time TV’s Nashville may have aired its final new episode. The series has meant a lot to the Music City-formed Striking Matches; nine of the duo’s songs were performed during the drama’s first four seasons.
“Our favorite scene would have to be when ‘When the Right One Comes Along’ appears on the show,” Zimmermann recalls. “The performance takes place in the legendary Bluebird Café, which is the place where we performed the song for the first time.
“The show has definitely helped to bring more people to the city — tourists as well as new creative moving here. Nashville has become a hotbed for different kinds of music, which is very inspiring.”
— By Chris M. Junior
Striking Matches on tour (schedule subject to change):
• Feb. 10: The Neighborhood Theatre — Charlotte, North Carolina
• Feb. 11: The NorVa Theater — Norfolk, Virginia
• Feb. 13: Union Transfer — Philadelphia
• Feb. 14, 15: The Sinclair — Cambridge, Massachusetts
• Feb. 17: The Fillmore — Silver Spring, Maryland
• Feb. 18: Irving Plaza — New York
• Feb. 20: Cat’s Cradle — Carrboro, North Carolina
• Feb. 22: Georgia Theatre — Athens, Georgia
• Feb. 23: Variety Playhouse — Atlanta
• Feb. 24: Cox Capitol Theatre — Macon, Georgia
• Feb. 25: 3rd and Lindsley — Nashville, Tennessee
• Feb. 27: Music Farm — Charleston, South Carolina
• Feb. 28: Palladium Theatre — Saint Petersburg, Florida
• March 2: Florida Theatre — Jacksonville, Florida
• March 3: Revolution Live — Fort Lauderdale, Florida