Earlier this year in the 2014 Most Anticipated Albums article, The Pier discussed Matisyahu’s forthcoming album, Akeda. Now Matisyahu has revealed the full details surrounding his new, record set to be released this summer.
Known for his innovative blend of Reggae, Rock, Hip-Hop and traditional Jewish themes, Matisyahu has garnered critical mainstream acclaim and established an extensive fan base since his 2004 debut Shake off the Dust…Aris. In our 2012 Most Anticipated Albums article, we discussed Matisyahu was hard at work on two new records. Later that year, in June, Matisyahu released Spark Seeker, his first album since his 2011 relocation from Brooklyn to Los Angeles, and a year in which the artist also shed his noteworthy appearance. Spark Seeker was a brave new studio album that allows the unique singer- songwriter to exploring uncharted territory.
Now, set to be released on June 3rd through Akeda Records and Elm City Music, for his fifth full-length studio album, Matisyahu has admittedly kept the production in-house, recording in Brooklyn, using the talents of Studio G’s Joel Hamilton (Pretty Lights, Dub Trio) and allowing Stu Brooks to step up as producers. Brooks, who has recorded with a slew of acts over his career, also plays as bassist and drummer of the Brooklyn based band, Dub Trio, the same group that backs Matisyahu on the road. Matisyahu also collaborated with guitarist Dave Holmes and drummer Joe Tomino of Dub Trio, as well musicians from the early years of his career. This includes Matis’ longtime soul brother Aaron Dugan on guitars, Rob Marscher on keys, and and renowned drummer Mark Guiliana.
Said to be a more organic fusion of sounds and styles, the album has a traditional live, analog feel as well as featuring more modern electronic elements. As Matisyahu explains, “the vocal and musical styles are drawn from many places in order to create my current sound, which cannot be categorized very easily.”
Writing both while on tour and during the short amount of time spent at his Los Angeles home, the content of the record looks inward, as Matisyahu has noted, “This record and period of my life deal with madness, listening for and following the inner intuitive voice, a small still sound. This record deals with love, with feelings of brokenness and humility, with humanity, struggle, and sacrifice.” As well as stating, “This record is a document of my spiritual, artistic and personal evolution. It takes the religious ideas I have studied and connects them to my heart. It is my most intimate work to date and I believe it will resonate strongly in the hearts of those who listen.”
Matisyahu has been rather vocal about this release, with various posts on his social media pages and even directly answering fan questions. For this new record, Matisyahu incorporates many styles, saying there is something for everyone. However, Matisyahu has announced online that, “there are more tunes on this record that fans may refer to as my ‘roots’ or as reggae tunes, and those songs lead in and out of tunes with more layers, electronic arrangements and other stylistic influences.” As told by Matisyahu, the tracks “Condifence,” “Broken Car” and “Black Heart” are pretty stripped back and rootsy. The album also features special guest appearances by reggae artist Collie Buddz on “Condifence,” and hip-hop artist Zion I on “Built To Survive”.
The beautiful artwork for the cover art of Akeda was discovered through a contest on CreativeAllies.com After 30 submissions were looked over, artwork designed by Jimmy Ovadia won and a version of that piece has been made into the backdrop for Matisyahu’s live show and has become the cover art as well as the artwork on all of the new Akeda merchandise. Matisyahu explains the artwork, “It gets at the core of the new album, Akeda. A man standing vulnerable and alone against the cosmic night, holding his heart up to God and God doing the same to man, holding his heart, this burning world in his hands and offering it to us. Together walking, bringing the sacrifice, making space for each other. Listening and calling out. “
In addition to the aforementioned details, Matisyahu has released the full 15-track listing along with two tracks to give fans a taste of the sound of Akeda. In addition, Matishayu’s new record Akeda is now available on iTunes. For more information about Matisyahu, his music and information about his tourdates, check out the details below:
Akeda Track List:
2.) Broken Car
3.) Watch the Walls Melt Down
5.) Built To Survive (feat. Zion I)
6.) Ayeka (Teach Me To Love)
7.) Black Heart
8.) Star On the Rise
10.) Confidence (feat. Collie Budz)
11.) Vow of Silence
13.) Hard Way
14.) Sick For So Long
Article By: Aaron Solomon
Photo By: Bill Colbridge
WATCH: Matisyahu – “Watch The Walls Melt Down” Official Lyric Video
LISTEN: Matisyahu’s “Reservoir” off Akeda