5 Songs, 26 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Outer Face is an intimate experience that extends the mood of Matthew E. White's funky debut release, Big Inner, while offering a minimalist counterpoint to it through stripped-down instrumentation. The guitars, keyboards, and horns of Big Inner are nowhere to be found. Instead, arrangements are confined to rubbery bass lines, floor toms, assorted percussion, and prominent use of strings swooping in and out. Deconstructing his sound to these basic elements is an imaginative move, and one that works especially well rhythmically. There's plenty of space here, but the groove is always strong. The other magic ingredients are the female vocalists backing up White's smooth baritone croon. Dreamy and ethereal, their voices hover in the background yet are an essential part the sound. Hypnotic and slightly eccentric, Outer Face is a low-key gem.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Outer Face is an intimate experience that extends the mood of Matthew E. White's funky debut release, Big Inner, while offering a minimalist counterpoint to it through stripped-down instrumentation. The guitars, keyboards, and horns of Big Inner are nowhere to be found. Instead, arrangements are confined to rubbery bass lines, floor toms, assorted percussion, and prominent use of strings swooping in and out. Deconstructing his sound to these basic elements is an imaginative move, and one that works especially well rhythmically. There's plenty of space here, but the groove is always strong. The other magic ingredients are the female vocalists backing up White's smooth baritone croon. Dreamy and ethereal, their voices hover in the background yet are an essential part the sound. Hypnotic and slightly eccentric, Outer Face is a low-key gem.

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4:23
4:02
4:12
6:19
7:45

About Matthew E. White

Drawing from a deep well of regional influences like Randy Newman, Allen Toussaint, and Alan Lomax, Richmond, Virginia-based singer/songwriter/arranger Matthew E. White specializes in a meticulously crafted blend of reggae-infused folk-gospel, tropicalia, swirling indie pop, and Stax-era R&B. Raised in an evangelical household by missionary parents (he spent four years in the Philippines) and nourished on the sounds of Curtis Mayfield, Caetano Veloso, the Band, and Brian Wilson, White has collaborated with like-minded artists such as Megafaun, Sharon Van Etten, the Mountain Goats, Ken Vandermark, and Justin Vernon, as well as toured and recorded as the leader of avant-garde jazz band Fight the Big Bull. The soulful and colorful Big Inner, his debut album for his own Spacebomb label, was released in 2012. Big Inner gained a cult following, showing up on several year-end critics lists, and peaking at number 19 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart. White continued to work on various projects for Spacebomb -- including the eponymous 2015 debut by singer/songwriter Natalie Prass -- and then released his second solo album, Fresh Blood, in March of 2015. In 2017, White paired up with Flo Morrissey for Gentlewoman, Ruby Man, a collection of covers. ~ James Christopher Monger

  • ORIGIN
    Virginia Beach, VA
  • GENRE
    Alternative
  • BORN
    August 14, 1982

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