Even if he’d never gotten around to releasing any music in 2015, the Richmond, Virginia orchestral-soul studio king Matthew E. White would still be having a great year. After all, he already co-produced Natalie Prass’ great self-titled debut album, and its baroque flights of strings and horns make a great showcase for White’s out-of-this-world arrangement abilities. But White did get around to releasing his own music. White’s new album Fresh Blood takes off where his beautiful 2012 album Big Inner left off, stacking ’70s Philly-soul strings and horns and guitars on top of a beautifully haggard white-guy shrug of a voice. I’ve seen the critic Steven Hyden call Fresh Blood an example of what might’ve happened if the Band had recorded with Gamble & Huff. That’s a great description, but big parts of Fresh Blood sound more like what might happen if Spiritualized’s Jason Pierce were a well-adjusted Southern American with no real bad drug problems and as much love for Isaac Hayes as he had for the Velvet Underground. We’ve posted the early tracks “Rock & Roll Is Cold” and “Tranquility,” and now you can stream the full album at NPR.
Fresh Blood is out 3/10 on Domino.