william carlos whitten : burn my letters [i heart noise]
on first hearing burn my letters a tear bounced onto the creaking floorboards. it's melancholy and slightly off-centred splendour made me think of the late mark linkous. Just as his work trod the line between happiness and heartache whitten creates a landscape to mesmerise in his wonky sparklers of (mostly) downtempo constructions and intensely personal text. assuredly this is a man who's life is being lived, fully. he's been rolling around the rock circuits with st johnny and grand mal, working with flaming lips, mercury rev, antony and the johnsons and many many more players. and it shows. even if this cassette release has an air of the basement, its complex web of instrumentation has the mastery adhesion of dave friedmann within its silky strings. both delicate and with weight and volume these songs flow, shuffle sideways, burst forward, but often jerk with an untethered obliqueness. a honing perfection glistens, albeit with a hand dipped in the dirty water of love and passion. there are songs here which should be touching commercial hearts, with poor thing being its prime example of 'straightest' radio-friendness, so uplifting and tremulous. in my borsalino, pointing a revolver is another heady frontrunner, but i'd probably point everyone towards the drama, grace and hate of every man for himself. bittersweet songwriting in the area of nick cave and tom waits with the added disorientation of sparklehorse. god knows how i've never allowed bill whitten to penetrate me with his playful, insistent wisdom before. buy from this great boston-based label and file under a section all of its own.
available now on cassette and dl