William Bishop is a musician who got started playing double bass and cello. His recent release Waves On Wire however doesn't indulge in these instruments. The album is very minimalist and sparse, revolving around piano, guitar and vocals, and that seemed to be about it.
This album is one that really put the vocals front and center. The lyrics, the nuance of emotion and other factors made it so my attention was drawn towards the meaning of the words when I heard them.
I was initially reminded of Dan Bejar from the band Destroyer but it was obvious to me that Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen were also valid comparisons in regards to the vocals.
The first two songs “I Don’t Remember You at All” and “Fever 104” were both played on piano. I would say the tone and emotional resonance was almost identical which is pensive, reflective and melancholy.
The piano is replaced by a guitar for the remainder of the album. As I listened to “Painting the Passports Blue,” “Something by Which to Remember Me” and “The Night in your Eyes” I was greeted with great guitar picking and vivid imagery from the lyrics.
The emotional tone and energy stayed in the same place for me as the album progressed. “There Is A King,” “Between the Track” and “All Those Things You Wish for” were well done songs. He continues to reinforce the sound with “Avalanche” and “Everything She Wrote.”
This is a very intimate sounding album and although I would have invited more dynamics from song to song along with different emotional landscapes I respected he stayed grounded in one lane. Recommended.
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