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Introducing: Man Made Hills

Man Made Hills discuss new single I'm Dead

Contemporary Americana singer songwriter Man Made Hills hits hard with his gritty, Friday The 13th inspired single I’m Dead releasing on all major streaming platforms Friday, August 13th (listen early below). Man Made Hills captivates listeners with the confident swagger he delivers on this track. Though the single exists from the perspective of a horror movie victim, the passion and artistic maturity demonstrated on this track make it clear that Man Made Hills is in complete control. I’m Dead embodies the classic Man Made Hills sound – vintage, Americana kissed Rock n’ Roll – that continues to keep fans dancing and singing along to his music. 

Man Made Hills catches listeners attention with his rich, booming vocals on I’m Dead; the power the singer-songwriter channeled into his performance is nothing short of impressive. Steady guitar – embellished by a masterful lead melody – in tandem with a haunting organ and crisp percussion serves as the perfect foundation for his dynamic vocals. Not only did Man Made Hills contribute an outstanding vocal performance, he also recorded the guitar and organ on this track. With collaboration from producer Josh Salant (drums, bass), the project came together effortlessly through an old fashioned live recording style. 

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Man Made Hills Interview

We had a chat with him about his new single and his love for Friday the 13th among other things.

How are you today?

I’m doing well, thanks. Excited about my upcoming release!

For those that haven’t heard of you yet, how would you best describe your sound and who have been your biggest influences so far?

I would describe my sound as soulful, jangly, timeless country western pop. I’m not sure who really “influences” my sound. I’m sure everything I listen to will influence it in one way or the other. I just start singing and it comes out the way it does. My favorite singer of all time is Sam Cooke. I listen to a healthy mix of old blues (like Lonnie Johnson and Howlin’ Wolf), modern indie rock, and 50’s and 60’s rock and R&B. I think the Elvis 68 comeback special performance of “Trying to get to you” was maybe the most impactful moment on me as a singer and songwriter. I watched that a few years back, and it gave me absolute chills – I thought, “That’s what I want to do”. 

You’ve lived and worked in NYC for years now – how has the city impacted your sound?

I’ve met some really wonderful songwriters, living and playing in the city. It’s definitely a hustle here and has a slight competitive tone, because we are all trying to achieve similar goals. I think the peace of my apartment has had more of an impact on me, than the city itself. I can sing pretty much as loud as I want, and that has helped me discover a bit of who I am as a songwriter. 

You’re getting ready to release your new single “I’m Dead.” Can you tell us how that record came about and what the story is behind the making of it? 

I had most of the album written and recorded and wanted to write a song that kind of summed up how I’ve been feeling these days, and I did eventually write that song. It’s called “Infinite And Complete”. However, while trying to write that song, I was becoming a bit exhausted by the process of trying to channel my deepest feelings and write something profound and personal. So I switched the key and started strumming what became “I’m dead”. Writing my songs can be emotionally draining for the most part, but this one was just pure fun, and I think that’s demonstrated in the energy of the song.

Was there a particular style you were looking for when you wrote it?

I wanted to play the most fun thing I could think of at that moment. I just wanted to dance. 

“I’m Dead” comes out on Friday, August 13th – how much did the movies impact the creative process behind the single? Which Friday the 13th is your favorite?

 I had been watching a lot of Friday the 13th movies when I wrote the song. Most of the movies start off with a bunch of kids going out and “Looking for a good time”, and end up getting killed. I thought of a couple of scenes from a few of the movies, and wrote a song from a murder victims perspective. It was the ultimate exercise of escapism. 

And “Friday The 13th Part 4” is definitely my favorite, but Part 3 is a close second. Chris from part 3 is the ultimate badass “last girl,” as they’re called. Her character deals with PTSD from being assaulted by Jason before the movie takes place and she’s a deeper, more thoughtful character than most. If you go back and watch her scenes with Jason, she’s so smart and cunning, and really gives him a run for his money. 

What do you hope listeners take away from this project?

I hope that they crank this tune on a Friday night, right before going out on the town and dance their asses off. (Then go out and return home unharmed)

What do you hope to have achieved over the next five years?

I hope I continue to grow as a songwriter, performer and overall human. There are the obvious goals, such as playing some of the bigger fests and going on tour with bands who I love. I guess I hope that more and more people discover who I am and dig my music!


Man Made Hills’ new single I’m Dead is out on all streaming platforms on August 13th. Listen to the exclusive premiere below.

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Maria Herrera

Maria Herrera is a freelance music journalist for Indie Is Not A Genre and co-founder of a small Nashville-based indie artist management group called Evergreen Entertainment.

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