Like any good secret, the buzz about Mat Kearney simply couldn't be kept quiet for long. Since his debut, "Bullet," released on Inpop Records in the fall of 2004, this Eugene, Oregon native's winsome way with a lyric has been raising eyebrows and blowing expectations on the alt-Christian music scene. Columbia Records got wind of the whispers, and five brand new cuts later, "Bullet" becomes "Nothing Left to Lose," Kearney's introduction to the music world at large.

The album, which combines Kearney's eclectic mix of hip-hop, acoustic pop, neo-folk and lyrical/emotional depth, evokes comparison to Everlast, Coldplay and John Reuben. But comparisons aside, Kearney's intention is clear: "Hopefully there is a depth and intimacy of songwriting that goes beyond the novelty of a funky guy with an acoustic guitar," he says of his music. "When I set out to write, I want to write something that will rip your heart out and connect with you. Great songs connect beyond genre and style." Critics agree:  great songs rip like a bullet from this guy.

If you missed his "Last Call with Carson Daly" appearance on Jan. 13, never fear. The first single off Kearney's upcoming album is available now at Look for the full album to make contact on April 4.

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