Album: Outer Face EP

Artist: Matthew E. White

Label: Spacebomb/Domino

Release Date: October 22, 2013

Matthew White 10-22


 The 2012 debut from this Richmond, VA, songwriter/multiinstrumentalist/producer was appropriately titled Big Inner, its collective-tilting aspirations earning points equally for White’s undeniable skills as a young soul rebel and for the estimable abilities of all involved to craft a uniquely identifiable sound. There’s a reason White & Co., hunkering down in their Spacebomb Records/Studio enclave, brought to mind the classic emanations of the Stax/Volt and Muscle Shoals crews, even though White (and most of the artists who have found their way to Spacebomb; Ivan Howard of The Rosebuds recently hooked up with white, and Megafaun drummer Joe Westerlund is set to release a record cut at there under the side project name of Grandma Sparrow) remain identifiably indie rock. The DIY spirit evidenced on that record and this new one are the very antithesis of modern pop produced with the commercial marketplace in mind, which makes it even more reason to cheer that White’s projects have rapidly caught the ear of the music consuming public.

 Sporting a likeminded sonic ambience to Big Inner, the Outer Face five-song EP makes for a solid companion piece to its sibling. Roughly chronicling White’s 2013 summer, a steamy season that found him sweating out the songwriting goods, it commences with the blue-lensed soul of “Eyes Like the Rest,” awash in gently swaying strings and doo-woppy girl group harmonies, and closes with the appropriately titled “Hot Hot Hot,” a moody, rumbling kind of neo-funk shuffle that finds White slipping between a falsetto and a croon while the music behinds him swells and crests and twists and mutates like a classic Blaxploitation film score (check the chase scene electric guitars) compressed into 7 ½ minutes. The other three songs are no less evocative, ensuring that the EP will never be deemed a stopgap, unlike most artists’ between-albums projects.

 Incidentally, Outer Face is out on 180gm vinyl—which is how it should be heard, if you have the opportunity—or as part of an expanded CD edition of Big Inner. Owning both is essential, so for those who never picked up the long-player in the first place, here’s a good chance to scoop up both in one purchase.

 DOWNLOAD: “In The Valley,” “Hot Hot Hot”

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