Matthew E. White & Lonnie Holley announce new album Broken Mirror: A Selfie Reflection for April 9th

First song from collaboration out now

Today, Matthew E. White and Lonnie Holley announce news of their timely avant-garde southern folk record, combining White's compositions white Holley's lyrics and vocals. Entitled Broken Mirror: A Selfie Reflection, the album will be released on April 9th. The pair have also shared the opening track from the album “This Here Jungle of Moderness/Composition 14”.

In November 2018, Matthew E. White wanted to reinvent his approach to songwriting, at least for a session. In the throes of shaping the follow-up to his second studio album, 2015’s Fresh Blood, White assembled a trusted posse of seven musicians in Richmond’s Montrose Recording, one of his favorite spaces in the city. He directed the septet through a series of loose, largely gestural compositions, guiding their spirited improvisations in the iconoclastic tradition of Electric Miles. The sounds were tremendous, an array of keyboards and guitars bejeweling the momentum of an interlocking four-piece rhythm section. But the results didn’t quite fit the record in process, so White shelved the jams until the right muse arrived. 

That, turns out, was Lonnie Holley, whose beautifully wizened voice soon spilled a kind of cosmic wisdom across White’s waiting work. The result - the five-track triumph Broken Mirror: A Selfie Reflection - is more explosive and urgent than anything either artist has ever made. Aggressive but ecstatic, playful but pointed, Broken Mirror is a trenchant though empathetic social critique, set to almighty groove.

These five tracks are balls of energized contemplation, Holley crooning grievances and observations above surrealist grooves so irrepressible and heavy that the words strike with the force of gospel. Holley strolls into “I Cried Space Dust” as if he’s wandered into the On the Corner sessions and offered unsolicited insights on true transcendence. “I’m Not Tripping” is an anthem of self-worth and self-enjoyment for a society mired in self-doubt, the words breaking like light beams through clouds of atomized drums and synths. And Holley begins the title track as a character mindlessly staring into a cell phone, captivated by his own image like Narcissus at water’s edge. Holley ponders the egotism of projection over dizzying keyboards and guitars so jagged they conjure fractured glass. By song’s end, he’s mocking this infrastructure of pandering for likes, jeering us all above a savage bassline that dares you to differ.

Broken Mirror: A Selfie Reflection is a timely callout to the power of collaboration, of kindred spirits connecting in crowded rooms. More important, though, is this collision of two profoundly Southern artists, meeting to shed expectations of generation and genre, scene and situation and exchange truth, wisdom, and energy. The real world is more complicated than a pretty digital picture, bowdlerized of blemishes. As Broken Mirror: A Selfie Reflection reminds us, it can be more revelatory and transformative, too.

1. This Here Jungle of Moderness/Composition 14
2. Broken Mirror (A Selfie Reflection)/Composition 9
3. I Cried Space Dust/Composition 12
4. I’m Not Tripping/Composition 8
5. Get Up! Come Walk with Me/Composition 7

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