In the world of music, it is often those who shout the loudest, or those who unapologetically thrust themselves upon their audience that gain the most attention. This is all well and good, but you can only shout for so long before one runs out of things to be angry about. Just look at Iggy pop. He went from fronting The Stooges to advertising car insurance in one fell swoop. Then there are those who choose a quieter path: Those like London-based singer-songwriter Westerman, an individual whose delicate jazz-infused folk guitar and staggering lyrical prowess are used as mediums to meditate upon the intricacies of the human condition. With an artistic focus of that kind, it is no wonder Westerman’s releases are so consistently fascinating.
In his new single ‘Keep Track’, Westerman discusses humankind’s urge for self-documentation as he asks us: “Is it right to lay it all out like that?” The meta-musical introspection of this new single is perfectly reflected via the track’s production. Acoustic guitar reminiscent of John Martyn is combined with an airy synth pad and the gentle pulse of a lo-fi drum machine. As honey-sweet melodies float in the sense of space Westerman generates, disparate textures and phrases seem to blend into one another in an attempt to cross the divide and make themselves one.
It seems as if Westerman has produced a piece of music which actively draws our attention to its sonic construction, and in doing so draws attention to the fact that whilst the desire to document one’s own existence may be a product of narcissism, it is inescapable and we are all guilty of it; none more so than artists, authors, and musicians such as Westerman himself.
‘Keep Track’ will feature on Westerman’s ‘Call and Response’ EP, due 6th October on Blue Flowers. Pre-Order on Limited Edition Vinyl here.
Photo Credit: Bex Day