Today, West London’s Westerman announces his upcoming Ark EP due November 9. To coincide with the announcement he shares the first single off the project.
“‘Albatross’ is set on a lake in my mind where I go to escape the worries of day to day existence,” Westerman explains of the EP’s lead track. “It’s a more innocent and natural place. There is a growing impingement on that place as time starts to feel like it moves faster, and more demands emerge. The song looks at that threat both to the physical environment and our own psychology through the inevitability of an ever-changing landscape.”
Since releasing the sparse and charismatic debut ‘Call and Response’ EP, he has gradually been burning a hole through the fabric of atmospheric Pop with his dulcet tones and blends of magical-realism. With nods to leftfield forbearers Nick Drake, David Byrne and Arthur Russell, Pitchfork proclaimed that Westerman’s music “has the power to soothe modern anxieties, if not solve them.”
Earlier this year, Westerman shared his breakout single ‘Confirmation’ which Pitchfork named as their Best New Track, Gorilla Vs Bear praised as the tenth best single of the year so far and Spin Magazine described as a “modern sophisti-pop miracle”. Following ‘Confirmation’, a string of singles including; ‘I Turned Away’, ‘Easy Money’, and a timely song about megalomania ‘Edison’ (also performed for Colors) received praise from DIY, Highsnobiety, DAZED, Clash, BEAT, Stereogum, Noisey and FADER and established Lauren Laverne and Huw Stephens as champions of his music.
Alongside the new music his Summer performances at Green Man and support tour with Dirty Projectors further underscored Westerman as one of London’s most exciting emerging artists.
Soaring through dreamy falsetto and dipping into pools of thought through organic fret squeaks, opening track ‘Albatross’ sits at Ark’s core and producer Bullion, a sonic architect engineering otherworldly spaces, is at the heart of the EP’s mood. Westerman explains, “After ‘Albatross’ a lot of ideas came very quickly, I just tried to follow all of them while they were still really fresh. It was an intense process with little sleep and very little contact with anyone or anything.”
Written over a three-day period, it’s only when listened to as a complete work that its true meaning reveals itself.
Westerman shares, “I’d been travelling a lot more than I’m used to and was really stealing time to write. I had this brief window to go into myself and try to make sense of the shifts that were going on around me and I wrote ‘Albatross’. I think the feeling of retreating from a hectic external schedule influenced how I wrote it. I wanted the recording to feel looser than the tracks released earlier this year because the music was so new and vital when we recorded it. There hadn’t been so much of the re-drafting and editing I usually go through, so I wanted that to be mirrored in the production.”
With an EP on the way and an album currently in the works, he’s now preparing for his next tour, which includes his debut US performances in New York and Los Angeles and his largest headline show to date at London’s Oslo. “Ark is a symbol of solace and of transition,” he says.
“I wanted this music to feel empowering as a challenge to my usual rhetoric and hopefully this set of tracks can provide that for the listener.”
Westerman’s Ark EP is due on the ninth of November on Blue Flowers. Listen to ‘Albatross’ above now and find details on his full tour routing below.
10/3 – Dublin, Ireland @ Whelan’s
10/10 – Oxford, UK @ The Cellar Bar
10/11 – Southampton, UK @ Heartbreakers
10/12 – Bristol, UK @ The Crofters
10/13 – Cardiff, UK @ Clwb lfor Bach
10/16 – Leeds, UK @ Hyde Park Book Club
10/17 – Manchester, UK @ Now Wave Venue
10/18 – London, UK @ Oslo Hackney
10/31 – Gent, Belguim @ Trefunt
11/1 Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Sufargactory
11/2 – Berlin, Germany @ Maze
11/1-3 – Copenhagen, Denmark @ Noisey Festival
11/27 – Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere
11/29 – Los Angeles, CA @ Moroccan Lounge