“Our Reunion” [ft. Esperanza Spalding]
Last year, Esperanza Spalding had a great collaborator in Matthew Stevens. The jazz guitar virtuoso was heavily involved in the recording of Emily’s D+Evolution, and he toured as part of her three-piece band. On “Our Reunion,” the second single from Stevens’ forthcoming album, Preverbal, Spalding returns the favor, lending her angelic soprano to this introspective jazz ballad.
With its electric thrum and drums that sound filtered through FM static, “Our Reunion” is a marked shift from the acoustic textures of Stevens’ 2015 solo debut, Woodwork, and is a close cousin to the future funk he made with Spalding. He and his band’s electronic-influenced jazz is looser than his previous work, especially during a finger-tapping piano solo that bops underneath a crunchy Jeff Buckley-esque riff. Lyrically, Spalding forgoes the brightness of their recent work together for more contemplation: She sings about a “dance with the shadows” and “stolen light.” Even if their reunion is darker than one would expect, the endeavor is honest, and soulful.