Marc White – Rise

Marc White’s story is proof positive it pays to hold onto your dreams. Life has tossed a number of obstacles in his way towards pursuing a musical career, even as a sideline, but his passion for singing has remained with him deep into life and hasn’t dimmed a fraction. His journey to his debut single, “Rise”, began at eight years old with a recorder before White graduated to electric guitar and began appreciating the power and potential of his singing voice. White’s musical talents are largely natural and never received the sort of education as other musicians enjoy; as a result, there’s a more idiosyncratic side to his performing and songwriting missing from many of his peers and contemporaries. His collaboration with producer Jeff Grenier illustration what an ideal marriage between artist and producer can accomplish and Grenier burnishes White’s already bright talent to a fine sheen on the single “Rise”.

The song begins with a brief sheet of synth color before segueing into a light footed acoustic guitar flourish. A staccato electric guitar line keeps the verses crackling before a punchy chorus comes and the arrangement opens further. The guitar work boasts considerably more muscle than the verses, but there’s an across the board ramping up of intensity while carefully modulating it and never becoming too hamfisted. White has a memorable grain to his voice that brings bluesy gravitas and soulfulness together in a single vocal package. There’s considerable attention paid to tailoring the musical performance to the vocal that makes the entirety of the song a seamless listening experience. Running at a little over four minutes in length, “Rise” has a steady escalation of build and release that’s perfectly orchestrated without ever sounding too constructed. There are only a handful of overdubs, at best, present in the performance and the song has an energetic live quality that makes it an even more compelling listem/

The lyrics are nicely effective and even posses a literary quality without ever sounding out of place in a clear AOR rock track. This musical style is often derided as formulaic and lacking real substance, but White fills this performance with maturity and complexity far outstripping typical efforts in this vein. His ear for quality phrasing elevates the lyrics a lot as well, particularly when he hangs back and knows when not to sing, but his habit of stressing unexpected turns of phrases and words sets him apart from much you hear on the scene. Grenier’s work with White ensures that everything comes across with the needed level of confidence and it sparkles with a mix of intimacy and assertiveness that will garner him tremendous positive attention. There’s no telling where Marc White can go from here – he has all the necessary tools to write his own destiny. Let’s hope he gets a few fortuitous breaks and the exposure he deserves on the basis of quality songs like “Rise”.


Jason Hillenburg