A simple premise you might think. To confirm a man’s pulse because of his album release. But anyone who has kept up with the whereabouts of soul singer and perpetual artist Wilis Earl Beal, firstly needs a round of applause, secondly that WEB is not exactly your conventional artist.
A supreme champion of art, and the contemplation, consideration and eventual sacrifice one must make to achieve Beal has been a mercurial figure to say the least. When we caught up with him recently he described scenes which would make the Beat poets of modern America feel more at home than if they’d had a tea and Benzedrine cocktail in their hand. But one thing you can always be certain of with Willis is that his output will be veracious and utterly, painstakingly, heart-wrenchingly him.
TURN, CIRCLE, SUN AND MOON is much like the rest of Beal’s work in this respect. It is powerful and unadulterated, it fills the spaces between your cells as it permeates your brain, feeling both lost and found – his music is entirely encompassing. ‘You’ stands out in this regard as a surrounding piece of work. Highlighted by biblical organ work Beal’s always immaculate vocal transports you to a vulnerable but life-giving place.
This motif runs throughout the album and leaves Beal’s vocal at centre stage, pulling from worldly and other-wordly musical influences Beal transcends a particular genre and instead instils a sense of mood and atmosphere to your ears. ‘Feel’ is another stand out performer, cooled and collected it feels a precise piece from an otherwise vibe-led artist.
“There is a brief space between dark & light, day & night; between micro-turns of the planet; when it possible for a sensitive animal to be changed into something else entirely.”- nobody
The above statement from ‘nobody’ is befitting of this album completely. A morphing and subverting track list works its way through existentialism to love and back to the depths of humanity, it is the kind of album to leave playing while you live. A simple idea, but honestly how often do you listen to a whole album all in one go?
This is the one to try it out on. Willis Earl Beal is a true artist. That can never be taken from him. His past is as enlightening and enticing as his future but as Beal will tell you; not to be dwelled on.
Everything you need to know about Willis is left here in the music, every note is flecked with his skin, every space between filled with blood of his silence and every song is a completion of a moment in the mind of Willis Earl Beal. This isn’t so much an album as an x-ray. Take a look inside Willis Earl Beal.