Seeing the West London artist transported into a virtual reality, the video for ‘Outside Sublime’ is a wondrous affair, filled with unsettlingly familiar plant life and scenery. Directed by Beatrix Blaise, the video captures the dreamlike quality of the track, with animated waves lapping at Westerman’s feet as surreal animated figures float overhead.
“Beatrix has come up with an impression of what is in my head” says Westerman of the video. “It has been an exciting process. It is not supposed to be real.“
Ark EP was written in between a lot of travelling and recorded over an intense 3-day period with little sleep or contact with anyone. With minor re-drafting and editing the result is something looser than previous singles ‘Confirmation’, ‘Edison’ and ‘Easy Money’ and debut EP Call and Response.
Fresh from a headline tour including a buzzy sold-out date at London’s Oslo, headlines in Berlin, Amsterdam and Gent and Pitchfork Avant-garde festival, Westerman flies to the US for his first dates in NYC and LA. He will return to London for his largest headline show on Dec 12 at The Jazz Café.
With backing from Pitchfork (Rising), Guardian, Stereogum, Highsnobiety, Noisey (Hit List), Dazed (On The Rise), FADER, Gorilla vs Bear, Clash (Next Wave), The Line of Best Fit (On The Rise),Interview Magazine, Sunday Times and a Colors session, Ark EP sees the West Londoner make another huge stride to becoming one of this year’s breakout acts.
‘Outside Sublime’ is out now, buy/stream it here.
The Ark EP follows on November 9 through Blue Flowers.
Today, London-based artist Westerman shares his new track ‘Easy Money‘. Another powerful progression for Westerman, the top-drawer lyricist continues to expound the workings of our inner selves in his bold ethereal sound.
Released as the flip side to ‘Edison’, ‘Easy Money‘ sees Westerman confronting some of his own fixations. He says, “I started out writing a love song, then it sort of morphed into more of a conversation. It’s a conversation I had many times over with someone I care about a lot. The subject matter is something I was thinking about too often. I wanted to retain a sense of romance in the music as counterpoint to where lyrics ended up, and I tried to make it so the voice seems float within the music. The characters existing in a state of transience.“
Like the writers he admires, Westerman’s music places us in the centre of troubled minds. From the striking early work which revealed a reverential respect for his influences, the ‘Edison’ and ‘Confirmation’ singles, are important artistic milestones in the rapid development of his unique blueprint. Both singles continue a string of collaborations with electronic producer Bullion which have help sculpt Westerman’s sound from the voyeured minimalism of before into “a modern sophisti-pop miracle” (Spin). Support has come from Lauren Laverne, Pitchfork (Rising profile), Noisey, Stereogum (Artist To Watch), Gorilla Vs Bear, DIY, Highsnobiety, The Line of Best Fit and Wonderland.
‘Easy Money’ follows the release of previous singles ‘Confirmation’ and ‘Edison’. After his early material revealed an ambitious new sound borne on the forward-thinking experimentalism of influences like Nick Drake, David Byrne and Arthur Russell, Westerman’s single ‘Confirmation’ brought his music to new legions of fans with Pitchfork profiling him in their ‘Rising’ column and Best New Music, saying it “captures a promising writer who’s learned how to take good ideas and warp them into stranger, more sublime shapes.” Gorilla Vs Bear placed it at number 10 in their best tracks of the year (so far) feature this June. Following it up with ‘Edison’, an incisive trip into the inner frailties of a narcissist, the consensus is unanimous: his slick left-field pop leanings and psychological songwriting have made him one of the most hotly tipped artists this year.
With a new EP expected later this year and an album slated for 2019, the remainder of the year sees Westerman tour the world playing headline dates across UK, Europe, as well his debut US shows in New York and Los Angeles, sets in support of the Dirty Projectors on their European dates and a handful of special festival plays including Latitude, Reeperbahn and Green Man.
‘Edison’ and ‘Confirmation’ singles will be available on vinyl on August 17, pre-order it here.
“Westerman’s songwriting takes in the tumult of a whirring mind and turns it into music that has the power to soothe modern anxieties, if not solve them”.
“…unafraid to drag his alt-pop wizardry to imaginative new places.”
“Sometimes an artist emerges, seemingly out of nowhere, with a piece of new music so perfect that it leaves you wondering”
Stereogum Artist to Watch
‘Westerman’s “Confirmation” Is a Modern Sophisti-pop Miracle’
“Produced by our old favourite Bullion, it’s one of the best songs of 2018 so far”
Gorilla vs Bear
Westerman today shares a new remix for his latest track ‘Edison‘ by Ross From Friends which premiered overnight via Hyponik. Heralded as an emerging leader in the lo-fi house scene, the young UK producer returns with another taste of his trademark take on emotionally-charged dance music.
The remix much like the single, carries its own wistful ambience with its hazy pads and loose groves and underscores Pitchfork’s admiration for Westerman’s genuine pursuit, “to grapple with the precarity of creative labor, the rituals and discipline needed to grow a rough draft into a finished product” as he continues to rework his music into something more.
‘Edison‘ follows Westerman’s Call And Response EP and his first single of 2018 ‘Confirmation‘ and B-side ‘I Turned Away‘, which captured the attention of global tastemakers such as Matt Wilkinson (Beats1), Lauren Laverne (BBC Radio 6), Pitchfork, NME, Noisey, The FADER, Stereogum and Interview Magazine, has seen him set to tour the UK/Europe across festivals such as Dot to Dot, Latitude, Midi, Green Man and more and be recognised as one of the most hotly tipped artists of the year.
Stream the remix out now on Blue Flowers now and stay tuned for more new music coming soon.
‘Edison (Ross From Friends Remix) is out via Blue Flowers.
Listen now on Spotify, Apple Music, Soundcloud and more.
After the wistful ambience of his Call And Response EP, a record steeped in left-field antecedents like Nick Drake, David Byrne and Arthur Russell, Westerman’s last single ‘Confirmation‘ brought him new legions of fans with Pitchfork profiling him in their ‘Rising’ column and Best New Music, saying it “captures a promising writer who’s learned how to take good ideas and warp them into stranger, more sublime shapes.” The consensus is unanimous: his slick left-field pop leanings and incisive psychological songwriting have made him one of the most hotly tipped artists this year.
Now he follows it up with ‘Edison’ which premiered on The Fader overnight, a song that gives voice to the frail inner monologue of the narcissist. As Westerman says “It’s about ambition, petulance and ill preparation. I imagined myself inside the head of the megalomaniac. I played around with all the unmet need and fear you would find there.”
Like the writers he admires, Westerman’s imagination places us in the centre of troubled minds, yet his new material marks a sharp progression in Westerman’s sound. From the striking early work which revealed an awed respect for his influences, ‘Edison’ and last single ‘Confirmation‘ both see Westerman channelling the spirit of origination in those influences rather than directly referencing them sonically. They continue a string of collaborations with electronic producer Bullion which have help sculpt Westerman’s sound from the clandestine minimalism of before into “a modern sophisti-pop miracle” (Spin).
Support has come from Lauren Laverne, Pitchfork, Noisey, Stereogum (Artist To Watch), Gorilla Vs Bear, DIY, Highsnobiety, The Line of Best Fit and Wonderland and this summer Westerman is set to play an array of festivals including Latitude, Dot To Dot and Green Man with his next London headline announced at Oslo in October.
‘Edison’ is another powerful progression for Westerman. Already proven as a top-drawer new lyricist, he expounds the workings of our inner selves in his bold ethereal sound. With an album slated for 2019, Westerman will no doubt be at the forefront of our consciousness as a singular artist removed from the prevailing pop world trends, yet one with the talent to bring the pop world to him on his own terms.
Westerman explores the human urge for self-documentation on new single ‘Keep Track‘ ‘Call and Response’ EP out 6th October on Blue Flowers
Sometimes a narrative songwriter emerges from the hinterland of mainstream culture. On his new Call And Response EP, west London’s Westerman renders the contemporary experience with razor wit and poignancy, pitting timeless human vulnerabilities with the often baffling ephemera of modern living.
His work channels the creative spirit of forebears like Nick Drake, David Byrne, Arthur Russell and Joan Armatrading – craftsmen and women whose observational storytelling transform the everyday into the sublime. Featuring Bullion in the producer’s seat (released through Blue Flowers label that also releasesNilüfer Yanya’s music), Call and Response is a synthesis of Westerman’s classic songwriting with Bullion’s electronic approach to texture. Through the subtle interplay of acoustic and machine sound, Westerman’s voice is realised in the half-light between reality and imagination.
‘Keep Track’ is a meditation on the human urge for self-documentation. Amidst the idiosyncratic guitar playing, Westerman asks “is it right to lay it all out like that?” It’s a message that chimes with our generation’s anxieties about our own digital avatars. He asks us to ask ourselves: are they records, or the narcissistic performances of our lives?
It follows previous single ‘Lie’ which tells the story of a jaded lover about to engage in unwanted sex with his partner serving as a metaphor a lazy acceptance of the need for compromise. It’s a brutal and witty double entendre: sex as a form of lie.
Westerman’s thought-provoking lyrics have emerged from his autodidactic fascination with literature and observation. He’s a fiction writer set to music, but in his fictions rest a kernel of timeless truth.
Call and Response EP comes out 6th of October on Blue Flowers.
Call and Response