“[Step Out Into The Light’s] lyrics are introspective and wide-ranging with a gorgeous outro
that lets the listener sit with the music just a bit longer.”
April 13, 2017 – Grammy-nominated Reggae artist Matisyahu teamed up with Billboard to exclusively premiere his new single “Back To The Old” today! “Back To The Old” is the second single off of his upcoming album, Undercurrent, which is set to release on May 19th via Thirty Tigers. Undercurrent is musically Matisyahu’s most courageous release to date and lyrically his most vulnerable. Nearly thirteen years after the release of his first studio record, Matisyahu and his band have done something unmatched in his past repertoire. Listen to “Back To The Old” via Billboard, here: https://goo.gl/aA2dPW
Matis’ first single “Step Out Into The Light” makes reference to an inner yearning which up until Undercurrent has been the single most motivating force of his creative life.
There is an existential journey, which unfolds through his catalogue of music. Its foundation was built on biblical stories and Chassidic philosophy however the themes and words represent intimate and vulnerable places in his personal story.
The first single and song on the record is the next step after Akeda and everything that came before. It is like Abraham on his life mission, coming up against tests and challenges. At the climactic point of his life, his tenth and final test he breaks free from everything he’s known and wanted his whole life. This inner drive takes him way beyond the limits of normal devotion and desire. This is where Matisyahu was in his last record Akeda and “Step Out Of the Light”, the first song on the new record Undercurrent recognizes the journey up to his point, acknowledges it’s impact and is a joyous acceptance and celebration of all that was. Finding the word, questioning the word, looking for the story, the meaning, the inner reality.
The second single and second song on the album, “Back To The Old” is the story of Abraham returning home to a whole new world after his earth shattering breakthroughs and breakdowns up on the mountain. For Matis this was paralleled by moving back home 10 min from where her grew up in NY and starting his life again. Another crack at sober living for the 7 months leading up to the record resulted in these lyrics:
“Sitting silently / Living with myself / Limited capacity / No more catastrophe / Catastrophic epiphany / Epic stories of my history … But with all of that / Dysfunction got the best of me”
This cycle of running and returning, going out and coming back. Undercurrents shifting and influencing from deep below that keep bringing us back and pulling us out. And the place he found himself in is somewhat cynical of his life long desire to find more then what actually is. As if the very obvious and real that exists directly in front him isn’t full of importance and meaning already. Is it possible to quench this thirst for more with the reality of what he knows exists for real? The people in his life and the places he returns to.
“I’m giving up / I’m giving in / All I got is what rights in front of me / What’s right in front of me is the people that I see / And the places that I be”
The visual component of Undercurrent falls into the same level of exploration and creativity, as Matisyahu explains, “Artist/designer Joey Bayer created the cover art and comic to follow based on fantasy versions of the band members and myself. At times during shows I’ve found myself lost in trance where the band becomes a unit of spiritual warriors fighting to free the souls of the youth. We’ve created all of the album art around this fantasy.”
Matisyahu’s upcoming album Undercurrent is set to release on May 19th! For more information, please visit: http://matisyahuworld.com.