Matthew E. White, the orchestral-soul singer-songwriter from Richmond, Virginia, is on pace to have a hell of a 2015. He already co-produced Natalie Prass’ lush and complex self-titled album, one of the young year’s great debut albums. And next month, he’ll release his own new album Fresh Blood, the follow-up to 2012’s great Big Inner. We’ve posted the first single “Rock & Roll Is Cold,” and White has chosen today to share the follow-up song “Tranquility” for a very specific reason. This is the first anniversary of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death, and “Tranquility” is White’s tribute to the man. It’s a beautiful, grandly orchestrated sigh of a song. Listen to it below and read some words from White.
A year ago today we lost Phillip Seymour Hoffman. I didn’t know Phillip, but I had watched everything he did for 15 years. To me, he was everything one could ever want to be in an artist, and although I am no actor I was much more of a student than a fan. Very soon after his death it became crystal clear to me that I wanted to try very hard and write a song for him. He deserved something from me, something that honored him, and showed how grateful I was for all he had given. His death was immensely sad and as deaths such as these go, leaves us crushed that a life so bright has been dimmed. There is a duality in these circumstances, it’s a place where we find darkness in the light, but more powerfully, we find light in the darkness. I tried to find music that felt the same. It’s my best shot, and it’s called Tranquility.
To a man that showed me, over and over, what excellence and craft is, here is a song for you.
(via White’s Tumblr)
Fresh Blood is out 3/9 on Domino.