After a long four-year gap, ambient folk-pop Melbournian Whitley returns with a brand-spanking new album.
Even The Stars Are A Mess is a beautiful 9-track gem of an album, with haunting ballads and calm tones, it’s a listen best savoured during those cold winter nights. Lawrence Greenwood’s harmonious vocals are divine and instantly remind me of the vocals of Robin Pecknold from Fleet Foxes.
The majority of the album has a gentle and relaxed approach, with tracks such as ‘The Ballad of Terence McKenna’ and ‘OK’ being laced with Greenwood’s carefree vocals and peaceful acoustic guitars. The silky harmonies intertwine with each other, for a calm thickness that doesn’t overwhelm the listener. Female vocals are also added onto the tracks ‘My Heart Is Not A Machine’ and ‘Pride’, which add a thicker yet softer sound. It also adds a contrasting sound that highlights a different vibe to the songs. Not all of the tracks are a calming pleasure paradise, ‘TV’ exerts harder and faster beats, and ‘Roadside’’s more upbeat sound conflicts with the slower tunes. ‘Roadside’ uses a climactic sound in between the softer ambience for a rich and rising atmosphere. ‘Final Words’ is also another track to use climax, and the synthesizer used in ‘Alone Never Alone’ adds that prominent and exaggerated sound. As the last track on the album, ‘I Am Not A Rock’ finishes the calm journey with breathtaking harmonies and beat-tastic percussion.
Whitley takes us on a tranquil journey with Even The Stars Are A Mess, each track lined with expressive lyrics and a delightfully rich sound of ballads and meaningful tunes.
By Adrienne Gyori