new music: lo-fi synth artist willis earl beal aka nobody puts on a mesmerizing show with new album ”turn“

March 31, 2017

By Nathan Leigh, AFROPUNK contributor

After making his mark with 2012’s acclaimed Acousmatic Sorcery, Willis Earl Beal has spent the ensuing years gradually dismantling his music, and finally himself, walking away first from his deal with XL Recordings, eventually from his name, and even the idea of names at all. Willis Earl Beal is now Nobody. Despite his new nom de rien, the singer-songwriter’s latest album Turn, may be his rawest and emotional album to date.

Opener “Stroll” sets the stage: minimal percussion, a lo-fi synth, and Nobody’s mournful baritone haunting the whole affair. The songs barely define themselves from each other, they’re more like waves. The pulsing synth strings that increasingly define Nobody’s music wash over your ears. It’s hypnotic, it’s heartbreaking, it’s weirdly entrancing. Though the two songs that stand out most, “Feel” and “Cowboy” tweak the mold slightly, they operate more as movements in a larger whole. Nobody’s elegiatic symphony to loss and loneliness. When a second voice appears on closing track “Time,” it’s almost jarring in both its sonic variation and its hopefulness. But it brings this surprising and entrancing album to the only conclusion that could ever make sense. Even Nobody is never truly alone.

Follow Nobody: Soundcloud