While the name might conjure a resignation of fate after a protracted battle against societal norms, American Sigh is Theo Matz’s humble West Palm Beach entry into a canon of forgotten pop craftsmanship. Modern in approach and leveled so instruments and vocals shine, there is an underlying nostalgia to its saccharine epidermis.
– Abel Folgar, Pure Honey Magazine
On their debut LP, Honor System, West Palm Beach, Florida-based indie rock band, American Sigh deftly layers beguiling indie-pop over complex post-rock melodic arrangements to craft a sound at once immediately engaging and full of intricate nuance. Theo Matz’s delicate, yearning voice flows elegantly into soaring stacked harmonies as the soundscape, flecked with wide-sky Americana, churns and sways below. Dreamy, uplifting, and just a touch melancholy, Honor System - produced and recorded primarily by John Paul Pitts of Surfer Blood, with two tracks produced by Skyler Mondell - is a record as equally suited to windows-down late-night summer driving as it is to headphone-driven bedroom ceiling stargazing.
Matz spent his adolescence meandering through assorted high school and college bands, playing house shows and cutting records with friends. After college, he relocated to West Palm Beach and founded American Sigh as an outlet for his own songwriting. He recorded the EP Songs for the New Sincerity mostly by himself in his bedroom. Thereafter, Matz has been working with an ever-evolving group of musicians under the American Sigh banner. In addition to Matz, Honor System features Christian Romano (drums), Jake Ryan (bass) and Ben Henry (guitar/vocals).
While each song on the record stands as its own perfect snapshot of a moment in the life of someone learning to navigate their way into adulthood, there is an undeniable cohesion to Honor System. “These songs all kind of chronicle my thoughts and feelings through my early 20's” explains Matz. “You could probably interpret the songs lots of ways. I personally see the record as a statement on what it means to be a good person, and how people navigate relationships. There really is no manual and we are all stumbling on our way to be the best version of ourselves.”
Written by Matz mostly at home in Florida, the album was recorded with Pitts and Mondell at Shade Tree Studio in Boynton Beach, FL and with Bryan Lamar at Raincat Recordings in Jensen Beach, FL. A record that speaks to the universal challenges of growing up, Honor System is there to remind us that we’re not alone in our struggles with self-esteem, relationships, and mental health. “I hope these songs resonate, and that it brings a sense of comfort to listeners” says Matz. “I set out to make a record that is introspective, honest and cathartic; both musically and lyrically. I hope it finds those folks who need it.”