- 04 Dec 17
Same subject matter, but with more experimental sounds.
Looking back, Will Wisenfeld’s 2013 album Obsidian reads as horrifically heavy-going. There are songs about suicidal ideation, existential dread and failed relationships. He sings about sharing a toilet seat with a boyfriend for whom he’s lost all feeling. Then, in Ocean Death, (2014) the singer continues to carry that same darkness. He identifies as being the ocean and invites sailors to come and drown themselves in his depths. Well, has anybody got a Xanax? Because in Romaplasm - Wisenfeld's third LP and first album release in four years - he's dived head first into some of the same morbid lyricism.
Starting positively, the album's jittery synth pop opener, ‘Yeoman’, embodies a more cheery side to this album. Mirroring Wisenfeld's past fantastical obsessions, the song is yet another lyrical portal to an imagined world. In an air ship, he sings about travelling across the skies with a prospective lover: “Left my life on the ground/ To dance with you in the clouds.” One may take that as a metaphor for the thrill of falling for someone new. Alternatively, it's a mere buddy tale. What’s not to misinterpret, is the deliriousness in his escapism from the real word. And track by track, the album darkens.
Wisenfeld’s ear for delightfully complex sounds are unwavering in ‘Human Bog’, as an excess of machine experimentation is heard. The bleep blorping. The clicks. The compressive modulations of voice. They permeate from a what sounds like a vintage controller and a Sega emulator. His brooding begins in wording like “queer in a way that’s failing me/ I’m not enough of anything." Wisenfeld brushes against his feelings, but doesn’t take it out on himself as perilously as he did four years ago. The overall sense, is one of gentleness and hush - an auditory reflection on his personal growth. He is still self loathing, but not as much now.