Since first emerging on the international stage in 2005, Matisyahu has established a reputation for following his muse—from the stripped-down roots reggae of the gold-certified Live at Stubb’s to the trippy ministrations of Youth to the polished pop eclecticism of Light. Then, in 2010, he returned to the venerable Austin venue that introduced him for Live at Stubb’s II, demonstrating that all those travels had somehow only strengthened his connection to his musical bedrock. It was a whirlwind half-decade journey, one that earned Matisyahu a place in pop culture at large.
And it was only the beginning.
Now based with his family in Los Angeles, Matisyahu blasts off yet again with Spark Seeker, a bold new studio album that finds the one-of-a-kind vocalist and songwriter exploring uncharted territory with help from an expansive cast of collaborators.
Jump on the bus for this EP, “Sold Out.” Your tour guide on this madcap adventure is the magnetic frontman and vocalist Elijah Jones, the ringleader of the twisted circus that is The Constellations. A follow up to the band’s debut, “Southern Gothic,” and appetizer to the band’s second full length, “Let’s Get Paid, coming in June, the EP comprises three brand new tunes and a video with fellow Atlanta guest Cee-Lo Greene on “Love Is A Murder.”
The band will be on the road all summer on Warped tour.
Atlanta has been providing the backdrop and soundtrack for Elijah Jones’ life since childhood and for the music of The Constellations. And he wants to share his hometown’s underbelly with the rest of the world. “Atlanta is a huge city, but it still has a small town feel to it,” explains the singer. “Everybody knows everybody, you run into the same people at the same bars every week. So it’s still kind of Mayberry, but with all the yummy stuff that comes along with being a big city—and all the bad stuff, too.”
Jones, the song of a Baptist deacon, taps his experience singing in the church as a child to explore the tension between dark and light in everyone’s life. “People ask me, ‘How can you be into this weird after hours scene, coming from a Christian background?’ But you can’t just write about the good in life. There’s some bad shit in the human heart, and that part of it is just a little more interesting to me.”
“Atlanta is strange,” he adds, “because we’re all basically pushed together.” The hip-hop heads, punk rockers, and indie kids all rub shoulders and mix it up. Our music reflects that inclusive diversity in its far-reaching sound. One expects nothing less from a singer who cites Tom Waits and Cee-Lo of Goodie Mob and Gnarls Barkley as his musical heroes.
The musical diversity of the band comes through on the anthemic party rocker, “Let’s Get Paid,” and the gospel infused “So It Shall Be.”
The band’s name refers to the myriad musicians from the regional scene who either contributed to making of their first album or have since played in The Constellations live band. One luminary who drops in is Cee-Lo, whose verse on the electro-rocker “Love Is A Murder” prompted a completely overhaul the track underneath.
Although the line-up would go through numerous changes, today its stable core finds Jones accompanied by a five-piece combo and the non-stop shimmy, shout and wail of two female back-up singers.