Matthew E. White | 21/08/13

Image: MEW New

Matthew E. White has today announced the forthcoming release of Big Inner: Outer Face Edition, a specially expanded version of his highly celebrated debut album from earlier this year. Set for release by Domino on October 21st, Big Inner: Outer Face Edition supplements the immaculate seven tracks of the original with a brand new five song EP. Sharing the community ethos of Big Inner and once again recorded in White’s beloved base of Richmond, Virginia, the songs of Big Inner: Outer Face Edition give further insight into White’s uniquely focused vision – both a continuation of the spirit and sensibility that bore Big Inner and a starkly ambitious departure from it sonically.

For White, Big Inner was an experiment that summoned an ideal, a community of musicians, and a tape machine around seven songs, dusting off all the old roadside markers of rock 'n' roll. Thirty people gathered under the banner of Spacebomb — Matthew E. White's studio, record label, and brain trust — to form a house band, horn section, string section, and choir. Led by White as an accomplished arranger, guitarist, and fledgling vocalist, this family created, in an attic in Richmond, a debut album born fully-formed as a classic. White travelled with it, his unstoppable 6-piece band not-just-performing-but-reforming the songs of Big Inner for audiences and for themselves. It was against this backdrop of discovery and revelation that the idea for Outer Face began to take shape.

Reuniting with old friend and co-writer Andy C. Jenkins in a lake house on the Virginia border, White set about writing for four days straight, polishing the idea for Outer Face into its truest and best form. Back home in Richmond, White set certain recording limitations for himself, both to stretch his arranging powers and to give the EP its own voice: no guitar (his instrument), no horns (his wheelhouse) and no piano (his writing device). White stripped it down to the basics, to the house band's percussion and bass (Pinson Chanselle and Cameron Ralston) and kept a few luxuries, the strings (arranged and conducted by co-producer Trey Pollard) and the choir, all tightly arranged behind his gentle and persistent voice. He furthered the record’s soulful minimalism with explorations in tape manipulation, a bit of editing à la Teo Macero, and dub-inspired effects. These techniques populate their own planet on the EP, giving it a different gravitational pull than Big Inner. You're floating in Outer Face.

Through a series of decisions, guided by restraint and indulgence, White expanded the process that created Big Inner, and began to find its first descendant, Outer Facea record that White describes as “a monument to love, to non-love, to the confusion of feelings, to the last half century of recorded music, to dub, to minimalism, to pure orchestration, to the human voice, to birds in the sky, to home.

Listen to Hot Hot Hot:

Big Inner: Outer Face Edition will be made available as 2xCD (WIGCD307X), digital bundle (WIG307D1) and standalone Outer Face 12” (RUG552T) from October 21st 2013. Pre-order Big Inner: Outer Face Edition here and the Outer Face 12” here.

Big Inner: Outer Face Edition tracklisting:

Big Inner:


  1. One Of These Days
  2. Big Love
  3. Will You Love Me
  4. Gone Away
  5. Steady Pace
  6. Hot Toddies
  7. Brazos

Outer Face:

  1. Eyes Like The Rest
  2. Signature Move
  3. Human Style
  4. In The Valley
  5. Hot Hot Hot 
Outer Face Trailer: