Posts Tagged ‘Fresh Blood’

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When Matthew E White’s debut album, “Big Inner”, emerged unheralded in 2012, there was a sense of wonder that someone had emerged, seemingly fully musically formed, without anyone realising. But there was also a pleasing oddness about Big Inner: for all the obvious soul influences, the likes of Big Love and Brazos had a trancelike mood that was less Curtis Mayfield than Spiritualized. Its follow-up is a more straightforward affair, and – though still a delicious record – slightly less eye-opening. Memphis and Philly are the soul moods that dominate, and this time round White has added some singalong-ready choruses, notably on Feeling Good Is Good Enough: once someone starts rolling out the la-la-la-la-la codas, you suspect they’re picturing twilight festival crowds swaying in unison. There are depths, though: the emotional heart of the album, Tranquility, is a beautifully orchestrated meditation on the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, with a feedback guitar solo that resolves into a loping groove, as if death is the peace that follows turmoil.

“Rock & Roll is Cold”, the first single from Matthew E. White’s forthcoming “Fresh Blooddue out 10th March on Domino Records , is vibrant and playful. Taking inspiration from legends like Randy Newman, the Richmond, Virginia native manages to be reverent but not beholden to his retro influences. The song’s a meta-commentary on music, with lines like, “Rock ’n’ roll? It don’t have soul” and “Everyone likes to talk shit,” which music writers everywhere will probably think is about them. As he proved on 2012’s album the excellent “Big Inner“, White and his Spacebomb Records crew have a knack for producing orchestral ‘70s-inflected arrangements and making them feel wholly relevant and delectable.