Now is the Time. Memphis is the Place.

Contour: A Visual Album Release About Love and Adolescence

On September 21st, Memphis-based artist Lawrence Matthews, also known as Don Lifted, will release his second album, “Contour.” The project which is based on a time period back in 2010 and focuses on his senior year of high school, now comes to life, full circle, 8 years later. 

Image courtesy of Lawrence Matthews

Contour

When asked where Don Lifted comes from, he laughs and says “I know where it comes from, but I’m going to start telling people a fake truth, and that it comes from ‘Don Killuminati’ Tupac, it’s not true, but I’ll let others think that’s what it means.” 

Following his tradition of car-themed titles, the album is named after his 1996 Ford Contour. “Contour” serves as a prequel to its sister album “Alero,” which explored a more tumultuous period in Matthews’ life. 

Matthews says that “Contour” is  more of a love album, following  the story of a black kid who went to Germantown high-school and fell in love for the first time. “It’s a positive album that captures the feeling of summer winding down, when people start to settle in for the fall, and are falling in love.”

Where “Alero” was more of a rap album, “Contour” falls into the alternative genre. Matthews worked alongside Grammy-winning mastering engineer Mike Bozzi (Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Eminem) in LA to create an album that echoes the influences of artists like Frank Ocean and others who have more of an electronic and alternative sound. The album comes together to create a representation of who he was during that time of his life before the heartbreak happened that ultimately gave us “Alero.” 

Courtesy of Lawrence Matthews

A Visual Album Release

“I had told myself I would do a visual album for the next album, and I’m sticking to my word. It ties together the art I create and my love for music.” 

Matthews worked with a team of artists including Martin Matthews, Kevin Brooks, and Nubia Yasin to create a 30-minute visual complement for “Contour.” It’s actually 8 unique films tied together through the music, and includes content that was recorded over of a 9-month period. The film features locations that pertain to the songs in the album as well as visuals that encapsulate the feeling the music will give its listeners. Matthews says to think about the vibe the ‘Perks of Being a Wallflower’ gives you during its tunnel scene at the end, and that will give you a sense of the tone.

“Contour” will be showcased as a visual album release at Studio On the Square for free on September 20th.

Join the event page here for more info and updates.

You can stream the album on the 21st on Tidal, Apple Music and Spotify.