Matthew E. White Show Review

Matthew E. White

April 2nd, 2015

Schubas, Chicago, IL


One of the best books I’ve read the last few years was David Byrne’s biography/how-to hybrid How Music Works. In it, Byrne talks about how much space, economics, and touring inform music and recording, which is something many listeners (at least this listener) don’t often think about. For example, a band might decide not to include a trumpet in a song because it would be hard to recreate live since you don’t want to pay a trumpeter to tour with you just for one song. Also, a band might decide to keep an album spare or minimal so it’s easier and cheaper to recreate live.
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Matthew E. White Review: Fresh Blood

Matthew E. White

Fresh Blood


In the 60’s and 70’s, musical greatness was not only defined by the person, but also the place. Hit-factory studios like Motown, Fame, Muscle Shoals, Stax, and Sigma Sound were places defined by their signature sound, embodying sounds of the region, and their house bands were all sorts of legendary. Recent years have brought about documentaries about these magic places, whether it was Dave Grohl going crazy about Sound City Studios in LA in his documentary Sound City, or the excellent Muscle Shoals documentary which goes over the transcendent artists and moments at Fame and Muscle Shoals studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The signature studio sound has long been a thing of the past, but Richmond-VA native Matthew E. White doesn’t see why it has to be that way. His Spacebomb studio, located in the heart of Richmond, has become host to a newly honed but instantly classic sound, one that recognizes lush Philly Soul, New Orleans Funk, and Southern R&B but also points to a better future.
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Matthew E White Review: Outer Face EP

Matthew E. White

Outer Face

Matthew E White Outer Face EP Album Cover Art

Late last year, Virginia newcomer Matthew E. White came along with his 7-song, 40-minute debut Big Inner and swept us off our feet. The deep-voiced bearded crooner borrows the sounds of 70’s Stax Soul and the folksy charm of Randy Newman mixed with the fragile spirit of Harry Nilsson to make a sound all his own. A year later, White releases the Outer Face EP, a 5 song EP that still comes in at 27 minutes (not far off the length of his debut) for another sweeping and intimate outing of psychedelic soul.
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Weak List Wednesday: This Week’s Five Best Tracks

new music, Big Sean, NIN, Trent, MIA, Matthew e white, cults
Bam! Just like that, artists began dropping tracks from the sky upon us all this past week. With the slight dry spell we have hit here in the late summer, it is nice and refreshing to have a breath of new music scattered upon us. It also is a pleasant reminder of some albums we have to look forward to this fall. So I decided to take advantage of these new single track releases by throwing out this list. There were in fact quite a few other songs dropped this past week as well, so you should dive into those as well, but these were my favorites. This was an impromptu list that I just constructed myself, so if something on the list does not sit well I am held solely responsible, and no blame should be put on the rest of the LxL team. Enjoy:

5. Nine Inch Nails – “Everything”

The most shocking song I’ve heard from NIN in … probably ever. Not due to any shocking lyrics or grossly aggressive industrial beats, but because of how poppy it is. That is right, welcome the poppiest, most new wave influenced song to ever exist in the Nine Inch Nails catalogue. I have to say I love it. The sound fits Reznor well, and although it may take a bit of getting used to from NIN, it’s a new trick for an old dog, and I love it.
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Matthew E. White Review: Big Inner

Matthew E. White

Big Inner

Matthew E. White Big Inner album cover art

Every year, in late December or early January, I find a debut album that slipped past me until it’s too late in the year to be included in my year-end top ten list. It’s amazing how every year it’s been a near certainty that this happens. In 2009, it was Antlers’ Hospice, in 2010, it was Lower Dens’ Twin Hand Movement, last year it was Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s self-titled debut, and finally, this year it is Matthew E. White’s sweet and soulful Big Inner.
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