We Are Loud Whispers


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We Are Loud Whispers' debut album Suchness is the result of an emailed collaboration between ex-Arthur & Yu vocalist Sonya Westcott and 4 Bonjour's Parties' Ayumu Haitani. The two met in 2007 while Westcott was touring with her band in Japan; years later, they decided to work together, with Haitani providing the music and Westcott the lyrics and vocals. The sound they concocted over the wires and across continents is a gentle kind of electronic pop that's both very melodic and very peaceful. Westcott's tiny voice fits perfectly with the miniature pieces of bubbling pop Haitani (and some collaborators) wrote. At times sounding like a quiet version of the kind of bedroom hip-hop artists like Volume AllStar, Kitty Craft, and the Slabco crew were doing in the late '90s, the album is a small treasure best listened to on sunny days or anytime you need to be reminded that bigger isn't always better. In their tiny habitat of sound, Haitani creates a full orchestra of feeling and texture out of blips, bells, clip-clopping percussion, and the occasional guitar, as Westcott sings about small moments in a whisper that wouldn't wake up someone sleeping across the room. Everything about the album is small, but everything is also very real and emotional in its own tiny way. Try listening to the very Pastels-ish "Starcrossed," for example. Nothing about it would startle a mouse, but it might raise some warm feelings of sweet melancholy deep within its little brain. When the pair do open things up a little on tracks like the uptempo "Modern World" or the hip-hopping "Western Town," it's like cracking the door to the outside world just a tad and letting in some air. Bringing in the Postal Service's Jimmy Tamborello to contribute some earnest vocals to "Glossolalia" is a nice touch, too, considering that this album was made the same way as Give Up and they share an aesthetic. Though anyone expecting Suchness to be Give Up II might find themselves wishing this were a bit more dour or morose, because apart from "Glossolalia," this is an almost stupefyingly happy sounding album. Even when it's sad, it's a happy kind of sad. Suchness may not be for everyone but if you like your music miniaturized and full of heart, it will make you happy deep down inside.

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