Willis Earl Beal – Noctunes

Review: Willis Earl Beal – Noctunes

National Music Reviews

Willis Earl Beal – Noctunes
Willis Earl Beal

Tender Loving Empire
Street: 08.28
Willis Earl Beal = Lewis + Curtis Harding / Moses Sumney

The term outsider, in music, refers to a musician who separates himself from the commercial music industry and from the conventional rules of music making. This is exactly the kind of artist Willis Earl Beal is. Noctunes is his second album since walking away from XL Records’ subsidiary, Hot Charity, and it’s perfect for nighttime listening in solitude with its mix of synths, light percussion and Beal’s voice. Beal has the most soulful vocals I’ve ever heard from my generation, and the music he creates is similar to the passion and sadness that exist in original gospel and blues. In a statement quoted on Pitchfork, Beal has referred to this album as perfect and intentionally minimal as a collection of lullabies that he often self-medicates with by listening to. I find the record fascinating and reminiscent of the soft yet brooding atmospheres created by David Lynch in Twin Peaks. –Justin Gallegos