Album: Westerman – Your Hero Is Not Dead review

by Philip Moss

Two years ago, Will Westerman’s career looked ready to explode. After a series of shuffling folk singles, his single, Confirmation, was awarded Pitchfork’s coveted Best New Music – and excitement for a debut full length was building. Since then, the West London based singer seemingly retreated – and after his four track Ark EP, released six more singles that now feature on this long awaited debut, Your Hero Is Not Dead.

So, for long time fans, the twelve track LP, as it has appeared, probably doesn’t feel totally new. Seven of its songs having been available for up to two years. But this doesn’t take away from what a fine, and complete body of work it is. Opening song, Drawbridge, aside – which is a bit of a stuttering, false start – it is a record to get lost in.

That calmness is perhaps best demonstrated on Blue Comanche – its gentle, spacious soundscape flutters by, as his his soft voice creeps into the crevices left by its Tears For Fears-alike synths; this song, like much of the record as a whole isn’t immediate, and doesn’t try to be. Instead, luring you in with its hushed brilliance. Instrumentals, Dream Appropriate and Float Over, too, offer all the soothing balm of a Mark Hollis’ production. And while a new recording of Confirmation is the immediate ear worm – its delectable chorus would nestle perfectly into an episode of mid-eighties Top of the Pops – it doesn’t stand out in a way that detracts from the record feeling like a coherent composite.

While Your Hero Is Not Dead may feel like it has been a long time coming, it is certainly worth the wait. And in the same way that it has taken a while to arrive, you won’t be rushing to take it off your turntable any time soon either.

Secret Meeting score: 83

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