Matthew Mulnix emerged from the planes of Lawrence, Kansas with a sound vastly different from the one that immediately comes to mind. While the Midwest might be where Matthew Mulnix calls home, his music lives in a universe completely separate from the waves of emo that seems to have been born of middle America. He’s gearing up to release his sophomore album, Relative North, on November 24th, and while the record certainly borrows some of its influence from the genre, it more-so shows Matthew carving out a niche of his own.

Today, I’m excited to share the second and final sneak peek at the album via a new song called “Lock and Key.” Sure, a twinkling guitar may peek it’s head every now and then, but Mulnix has a sound that feels largely inspired by acts like Jason Mraz (a much less embarrassing version, albeit); his work is often lyrically dense with plenty of word-play that seems to effortlessly melt into perfectly structured pop melody.

The sing-speak cadence of the track will playfully roll through your head for days, leaving you helplessly singing along before you even know all of the words. The track is so immediate that you’ll fumble around the lyrics, mumbling until you’re able to proudly spit out shockingly stark lyrics like “Life’s a shot most can swallow, but I caught her choking on the burden and blame./Remembering what a friend would say, it’s always darkest when you drink tears away. So open up your doors and tell me what you’re waiting for./Are you an exit or entrance?/And does this lock have a key?

When asked about the track, Matthew Mulnix said: “‘Lock and Key’ details the cloudy film of uncertainty and depression that can coat the glass house that is a relationship ready to shatter from stones cast by doubters. With the help of producer Travis Hill, my vision for this song came to life from beginning to end.

“Lock and Key” can be streamed above. Relative North is out November 24th, and pre-orders are available here.