On the heels of releasing his obtuse collaboration with the legendary Lonnie Holley, Matthew E. White is releasing his long-anticipated solo album, K Bay, on September 10th 2021 via Domino. With the opener single, Genuine Hesitation, out already there are some flavours of the album already available for fans to taste and I doubt they will be disappointed.
After Matthew E. White’s solo introduction Big Inner became a surprise hit and his 2015 debut for Domino, Fresh Blood, ascended him to late night TV performances and further critical acclaim. His record label/studio Spacebomb, for instance, ballooned into a bevy of obligations and expectations. White followed Fresh Blood with 2017’s Gentlewoman, Ruby Man, a set of duets with Flo Morrissey, and continued to produce records for the likes of Natalie Prass, Bedouine, and more – doubtless privileges that sometimes crowded out his ability to work on his own music. So he began building K Bay, a home studio where he could sequester himself with his thoughts. Newly married and starting to talk about children as he inched toward 40, White filtered a lifetime of experiences, enthusiasms, and obsessions into these new songs.
K Bay was produced by White and recorded between his beloved Kensington Avenue home studio (and album namesake) K Bay, Richmond’s Montrose Recording and his own local institution, Spacebomb Studio. K Bay finds the singer/songwriter and musical polymath expanding every facet of his creative process which has seen an elevation in terms of the output. An LP of stunning soulful tracks, K Bay is a brilliant compilation of tracks that draws on the funk and soul of the ’70s. A bold reclamation of independence and identity, this album establishes White as one of his era’s most imaginative artists. These 11 tracks are retro-futurist wonders that take only one play to land themselves and embed in your head.
Genuine Hesitation sets the bar for the rest of the album, a kaleidoscopic pop track that throws you into the precise mood required for the next ten tracks. Let’s Ball is a funky toe-stomping track that is a personal favourite, Never Had It Better has all the amplifications of a cinematic score, with a head nod towards Australian stalwarts, The Avalanches, whereas Judy is a guitar-driven bundle of White pop-joy. Shine a Light for Me is a stunning ballad before the album concludes with the dulcet chords of White’s vocals on Hedged in Darkness.
K Bay is a rollercoaster of White’s talents, whilst outlining his sheer ability to turn a track into a classic earworm in an instant. An eleven-track LP that will stun his fans, White’s done it again, levitating our expectations from the acclaimed Fresh Blood. How he’ll continue to captivate his listeners on this upwards trajectory, I have no idea, but I’ll watch with great interest.
K Bay is available to pre-order on exclusive limited Dom Mart vinyl (2 x LP orange), indies exclusive vinyl (2 x LP transparent light green), standard vinyl, CD and digitally. A t-shirt bundle is also available via Dom Mart. Pre-order: Domino | Digital