Will Westerman is a London-born, Athens, Greece-based artist who releases his second album `An Inbuilt Fault` this month. The album comprises nine songs which took shape throughout the depths of the pandemic and mirror the artist`s two years of intense isolation, loneliness, heartbreak, and dread. The phrase “an inbuilt fault” itself is an examination of the flaws that make us human, an intuitive response to Westerman’s disillusionment with AI and social media during this time. While first working solo through a period of isolation in Italy in 2020 and 2021, a chance meeting with Big Thief’s James Krivchenia at a show in London changed this. Westerman decided to collaborate with the drummer and an extended crew of Los Angeles associates to flesh out his new songs. 

We are introduced to this release with `Give` which has an underlying synth layer allowing a quite dreamy vocal with some complementing harmonies and lyrics that were for me a little surreal where Molotov and Iscariot both get namechecked. A really captivating number to ease us in on. A rolling drumbeat, piano and trombone tones give a delightful soft rock come jazzy texture to `Idol; RE-run`. A number which I thought maybe perceived an ideal being shattered but having read elsewhere there seems to be a much more politically observed slant.

`I, Catullus` is bass led with a title that really intrigued me and with the help of the net I discovered that Gaius Valerius Catullus was a Latin poet. The track seems to be a musical journey that veers here and there as we travel along. An enthralling percussive beat accompanies us as the vocals are shared in a kind of spoken word nigh on stream of consciousness at times throughout `CSI Petralona`. I read that the number is fairly autobiographical and about a day in the life of the singer and his introduction to one of the hippest neighbourhoods in Athens.

`Help Didn’t Help At All` has vocals that are really ethereal and fairly introspective shared over a musical backdrop that is stripped back initially before a rolling oscillating beat joins and escorts us to its conclusion. There are other vocal soundbites that float in occasionally as if they are further inner thoughts that haven`t been suppressed. There`s a sense of awakening on `A Lens Turning` which has a fairly long instrumental intro. It seemed to relay a sense of the narrator being more relaxed, comfortable, and even safe in a sense of the familiar. It`s a soundscape that allows you to wallow in it and let it take you to a dimension of your choosing.

 `Take` has a delicate nigh on graceful texture about it with a quietly shared jazzy new age vibe that really draws you in. Title track `An Inbuilt Fault` opens with a shook tambourine, a continual intricate guitar chord riff and trombone as it takes us on a voyage both musically and lyrically. The midsection becomes a little folkier before it returns to its more introspective ambience. There was a slight edginess to the piece which probably mirrored the sense of uncertainty shared through the lyrics.

The album closes out with `Pilot Was A Dancer` and it`s a thoughtful, reflective but ultimately quite delightfully spellbinding listen. A submission that seems mediative, maybe self-examining at times. It does grow much rockier come vibrant towards the end as both the music and the volume are raised in intensity.

 `An Inbuilt Fault` for me is a composition that has lyrics that can perhaps be interpreted in a number of ways and will mean something different to each of us.

Musically it was difficult to categorise but had elements of soft rock and jazz and maybe could be defined, if necessary, in the classification of nu jazz.

Whatever, it was really breath-taking at times and really enticed me into it`s heart as a moth to a flame.

I`m sure it`ll do the same to you, if only you allow it the time.


Rating 9/10

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