Matthew Jones Releases Debut Solo Album 'Reinterpreting'

Apr 23 2024

Matthew Jones, best known as lead singer for Right Hand Shade, has released his debut solo album Reinterpreting - a collection marked by heartfelt reflections on the ways God reinterprets confusion and pain into something glorious.

The title’s take on redemption was inspired by a job that predated even New England-based alt-rock band Right Hand Shade. Just after college, Matthew Jones worked as a Spanish/English interpreter.

“My job was all about facilitating communication between people, but sometimes the meaning of an important message could be difficult to translate between languages,” the singer recalls. “I had to learn to reinterpret certain words, which can be defined as revising something in a new or different way.”

That concept hit home in a new way when Right Hand Shade disbanded amicably at the beginning of 2023. Suddenly, Matthew Jones had to decide what form his musical calling would take.

He openly admits, “It was a really challenging moment. I was suddenly on my own without a plan or compass. I knew my story wasn’t over and that God has a way of taking our confusion, our pain and what we thought was broken and turning it into something to glorify Him. He is in the business of revising and reinterpreting our situations, rewriting our stories, and reminding us of the hope and future that He has for each of us.”

That idea is summed up in the album’s core lyrics: “When circumstances change, it’s alright, / You reinterpret things in Your time, / There’s grace to start again, come to life, / You’re reinterpreting.”

“I hope that these songs encourage anyone else who can relate to this process that even with our scars and brokenness, God isn’t done with us yet,” Jones adds.

That theme is the throughline of this bright pop-rock album. Matthew Jones recorded the tracks with Chris Hoisington (The Brothers McClurg) at Old Bear Records in New York, where he also recorded his 2023 debut solo single “Where Would I Be Without Your Grace.” The songwriter co-produced the album himself alongside Eric Andersen, who also mixed and mastered the project. Although Jones, Hoisington and Andersen played most of the instruments on the album, they also enlisted Carlton Campbell on drums, percussion, and bass, Matthew Owens on strings, and the very special guest of Matthew Jones’ son Gabriel on drums, percussion and guitar.

The process was different in the narrowed-down setting of solo music versus a full band experience.

“This music is a lot more keys-focused and more digital than the guitar-driven stuff we used to do in the band,” Jones reflects. “Truth be told, these songs are really much more of a reflection of my own personal style and musical influences. My team at Old Bear took the time to get inside my head and really bring new levels of artistry out of me. I’m thrilled how we’ve really gotten the process down to a science at this point. I always leave the studio with something so much better than I imagined going in.”

That perfect fit has led to songs like the joyfully reflective title track “Reinterpreting,” which Jones identifies as his favorite song he’s ever written.

“I believe that when we really surrender to Him, holding nothing back, we come to life and find a purpose much more profound and exciting than anything we could have dreamed up in our own strength,” he says of “Reinterpreting.” “Also, I loved creating this song in the studio on the Roland Juno synthesizer. You’ll hear all these fun blips and digital sounds, but they were actually done authentically on an instrument from the 80s!”

And that’s not the only song that plays with digital sounds. “11” is an upbeat, shimmery jam that calls on our courage. The theme is one that has been field-tested for the Jones family as they’ve faced health problems in their kids. Matthew encourages, “When we’re facing challenging circumstances and the enemy is lying to us, we should turn our praise up to 11 to drown all that negativity out!”

Tapping a continued sonically diverse palette, “Room” is a slower, percussion-meets-synth call to prayer. Fittingly, “Tan Bueno” even offers a hint of Latin guitar as it works in some of the Spanish language that left an impression on Matthew Jones years ago.

Throughout the tracklist, every song is like a part of Jones’ fingerprint as an artist: uniquely, fully his own. As he steps out into the solo spotlight, Reinterpreted is an introduction that offers a chance to get to know him better than ever before.

“Each song tells a little piece of my journey, and I always try to write about the experiences that people can relate to,” the solo artist shares. “If God shows up and speaks to someone through music that I have written, then I have done well with what He has entrusted me with.”

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