In a era of near constant spin, hype and worse it’s increasingly rare to engage with art on one’s own terms sans any preconceived notions. It’s for this reason I shared two tracks by Willis Earl Beal without commentary in an effort to present the music context free. Earl’s story has become the toast of the Internet of late, and in a welcome change of pace, here the hype is very much warranted. I first caught wind of Beal on recommendation from Nick Waterhouse, an ear I trust implicitly, while discussing original ‘now’ American artists. I made a note to check him out. Digging around later that night I happened upon half a dozen scattershot mp3s and videos. Intrigued led to impressed and impressed led my attempting to track down everything I could find.

Stark, moving, soulful and brilliant, I came across Beal’s “Monotony” via a piece penned last October entitled The Sound of Young America. I then listened to it on repeat for the next 30 minutes. Nearly acapella, it’s imbued with the kind of songwriting and depth of delivery that comes around once a decade.

MP3: Willis Earl Beal :: Monotony

18 Responses to “Willis Earl Beal :: Monotony”

  1. love this track. saw him play tuesday in chicago and he’s the real deal.

  2. So f’in good

  3. This is outstanding. Chills.

  4. Damn.

  5. […] Willis Earl Beal – “Monotony” [aqrmdrnkrd] […]

  6. Sweet!

  7. yes, on repeat

  8. We co-presented the 7″ release show in Chicago this week! It was f’ing incredible. Willis is indeed “the real deal” and a good guy to boot. So glad to see him on the Drunkard.

  9. Alright, now I’m hooked. Scouring the web.

  10. monotonous

  11. This is refreshing stuff…so bare bones it’s a great wake up call.

  12. […] the rest here: Willis Earl Beal :: Monotony « Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan :: Deus Ibi Est Twitter Updates for 2012-02-24 […]

  13. “The hype is very much warranted”……?!?!?!?!?! This guy can’t even play instruments. Seriously. For his first show in Chicago, his manager was calling every established local band to try to get some actual musicians on stage with him to play his “songs” because he can’t pluck his 2 strings and sing at the same time. I’m sure he’s a very nice dude, but this hype and his celebrity makes my brain hurt.

  14. ezra, what are you talking about?!? that show was great.

  15. Did the hype machine get hungry again?

  16. he’s an amazing singer and judging by that song a pretty good song-writer. who cares if his guitar isn’t so developed, there are plenty of guitarists out there.

  17. […] lo-fi tone, we’re left with a tune that one could argue is a bit monotonous. It’s that deliberate, unsettling quality, though, that finally found a restless spot in these bones — like an old […]

  18. […] May 2nd, Spaceland and Aquarium Drunkard present Willis Earl Beal at The Autry. I’ve been wanting to see this guy live for months – his debut LP, […]

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