Sweet Exchange Records
Recoil is singer-songwriter Matthew Mayfield’s 4th full length solo record and contains some of his most personal material to date.
The former Moses Mayfield frontman wears his heart on his sleeve in many of his songs, and opener “History” is no exception. Detailing the heart-wrenching fallout of a recent breakout, the stark track features just Mayfield’s vocal and electric guitar and the result is a powerful, emotionally raw opener.
Recoil is an album characterized by the contrast between light and dark; something exemplified by “Raw Diamond Ring” – its bright hook masking lyrics tinged with sadness. Likewise the vibrant “Indigo”, which boasts another hook large enough to hang one of Mayfield’s hats on, contrasts sharply with the brutal lyrical and musical intensity of “Turncoat”. “God’s Fault” is Mayfield’s account of facing up to addiction and taking responsibility for it.
The standout duo of “Wreckage” and “Merry Go Round” lighten the mood, each boasting Mayfield’s trademark delicate acoustic intros and soaring choruses, while the variety continues on the closing songs “Show Me” and the atmospheric “Long Way Down”.
Recoil is clearly a cathartic and important record for Mayfield – it may not be an easy listen at times, but there are few artists who so openly invite the listener in so deeply, for better or worse. In an age of formulaic, homogeneous music devoid of feeling, it’s a welcome invitation.