Well Weinf, the artist behind this week’s album is, once again, a totally new name to me. Happily, his press release gives me lots of information. I do like a nice informative press release.
Here is a brief synopsis of it (links included):
The Sunset Cave is a short story about a redheaded woman who kills the tourists that mistake her for a prostitute. The Priest and the Thief is about the Church and corruption, and the obsolete concept of religion for mass control in an era in which we have almost all the world’s information at the distance of a click. Purple Bird and Other Uninvited Guests talks about that person that you invite to your home and you regret it the very moment she crosses the door. The Absence of a God Has Made Me Free‘s title speaks for itself. The Finest Woman I Have Ever Met talks about the figure of the woman in my life. Fishes Swimming in the Sand came out of the weirdest dream of my life, which took place in a night when I may or may not smoked too much. The song is about refugees and people with no other options. Kafka on the Shore is a Haruki Murakami poem from his same-titled book. The Basement is my oldest song, and is preceded by Preludio, driven by Dana Colley’s soothing saxophone. Speaks is about my friend’s basement –yes, it’s quite literal–, a place that housed our most wonderful drunk escapades. Carefulness and Other Bad Advice is about the figure of my mother in my life.
Weinf is 22 and hails from Barcelona. Unhappily, he has been seriously ill in the past and had to undergo two bouts of chemotherapy. This album was recorded at the end of last year while undergoing his second course of treatment. Happily, he tells us that he is OK now.
He claims a number of influences including Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, The Doors and Morphine, which you can hear in his music. I really didn’t know what to expect from this but, right from the opening track, I was seduced into the music and listened through utterly engrossed with what I was hearing. According to its classification on Soundcloud, this is Psychedelic Jazz, but to be honest, I don’t really hear the Jazz part, although Psychedelia is certainly the dominant flavour, which is happily a flavour I enjoy greatly.
There is a garage rock vibe here, particularly in the organ sound and the spacey guitar sound, but also something else that I can’t quite put my finger on. Anyway, I like it, whatever it is. There is a swaggering quality about the track “The Finest Woman I Have Ever Met” which makes me think that Weinf would be a pretty interesting live experience. Funnily enough, as the album goes on, the thing I think of most is that these are really torch songs or even rocked-up Brecht/Weill-style cabaret songs.
“What Are They Up To?” is a short instrumental that morphs into the following track, “Fishes Swimming In The Sand”, which has a slightly more laid-back vibe and sort of reminds me of some of John Cale’s solo work, and even in a couple of places, of Lou Reed too. I am thinking that this will be music that divides opinions quite strongly. However, nailing my colours to the mast here, I am firmly in the pro-Weinf camp. Some people might find his voice annoying, but I rather like his deadpan, baritone delivery, and I can think of other people who would like it too, although he lacks the deep sonorous quality of Nick Cave. Weirdly, perhaps, in places he reminds me of Nico. In fact, there is a definite Velvet Underground influence in a lot of the music here, even though “Kafka On The Shore” sound to my ears like it has escaped from a spaghetti western, with twanging reverb Shadows-style guitars and hissing cymbals.
The jazziness finally arrives in the lovely short instrumental “Preludio”, which is all breathy sax. Nice! Anyway, to round things up, here are my final thoughts, which I’ll keep short;