Insomnia is not pleasant. In fact I’ve had periods of intense insomnia that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. The more you try to shut off you can’t. It’s a vicious cycle that will quickly wreck havoc on your well being. When I read the comments Jeanscape aka Daniel Wiggins made about his latest release How A Hurricane Feeds Itself I was reminded of my formidable nemesis.
He says, “The record is intended the evoke the feeling of restless mental wandering from one idea to another - the types of nonsensical thoughts that enter our minds as we struggle to shut off.” The title itself seems to be a metaphor for the cycle I mentioned.
For good measure Wiggins mentions that “aspects of the album were directly inspired by David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks' series.” Well this all starts to work out doesn't it? You could argue that Lynch’s entire catalog is nothing more than a dream. The apprehension, the depersonalization, the absurdity of human existence itself.
The music on How A Hurricane Feeds Itself is perhaps the most varied I have heard from Wiggins in approach and style which do however seem to wrap around the themes. We are greeted with “Risen” which is a pensive, dramatic piece which reminded me of prolific composer Max Richter. The background of white noise is able to create a sense of dissonance against the refined and all too real piano. There is a good amount of shifting in the soundscape and it slowly dissipates into a bubbling swamp before rising to the heavens in the last forty-five seconds of the song.
“New Front Teeth” is dark and ominous. The spoken word is effective and plays into the absurdity of Lynchian dialogue. Jarring piano chords contrast against words. “Sheriff T. (Sergent Sex Pest)” is a style I can’t recall having heard from Wiggins before. The song sounded like a mix of music from the film From Dusk Till Dawn and Tom Waits.
“The Real” is a fragmented archive of a conversation you had with a friend on a winter night. “The Old Fields” painted pictures of crystals and ethereal clouds. My mind went to Superman’s sanctuary - Fortress of Solitude. On the closing title track the stillness, comfort and tranquility of a lone piano might be able to provide one with the tones they need in order to finally be able to shut off.
There aren’t many people who are on the fence about David Lynch. Most conversations I’ve had about Lynch are either utter praise for his genius or an almost indignant dismal of work because it “made no sense.” I think Wiggins’ work will most likely be treated in a similar fashion and I surmise he is perfectly fine with that. For those of you like myself who believe the former How A Hurricane Feeds Itself is essential listening.
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