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.