Singer-songwriter Matisyahu has been on a journey inward for more than a decade. The journey has been private and public. The journey has at times been explicitly external, even while being driven by internal change. Now, nearly thirteen years after the release of his first studio record, Matisyahu and his band have done something unmatched in his past repertoire; they have crafted that journey into a musically thematic eight-song-movement.
The band features longtime guitarist Aaron Dugan, Dub Trio's bassist and drummer Stu Brooks and Joe Tomino, and keyboard virtuoso BigYuki - and the journey starts with them. The band improvised for hours in the studio with Matisyahu watching on as an admirer without singing a single lyric. Out of the improvisations grew melodic themes, rhythmic peaks and valleys, blissful and proto-song guitar passages, deep dub meditations and ultimately an inspired instrumental record unto itself. Only once the band had crafted this musical narrative, did Matisyahu begin to work on a lyrical narrative of his own - one that is simultaneously informed and integrated with the music yet driven by his own personal journey. The result is Undercurrent, Matisyahu's sixth studio album.
The record is musically Matisyahu's most courageous release to date and lyrically his most vulnerable. "This is the first album I've made that is produced by myself and the band with out any outside forces involved," Matisyahu explains. "It's my baby. No compromises, full artistic integrity."