When music inspires writing and every word, phrase, and the most valiant attempt to capture that experience subsequently fails, then something truly magnificent has happened. The Inside Room is that experience. Looming in emotional power, every song here is simultaneously harrowing in their intimacy as they are passionate, haunting, and heart-wrenchingly hypnotic.
A lean three-piece, 40 Watt Sun's sound is dense, weighty, and yet somehow elegant and fragile. Lyrically, Patrick Walker places us on the edge of uncertainty, staring into the vacancy of the future, that bleak, indifferent nothing over which we paint our futile aspirations that somehow urge us despairingly onward into the next moment. And here, merged with the mire of 40 Watt Sun's opaque aesthetic, Walker's vocals take on a transcendent splendour that is as striking as the subject matter is transient. His multi-layered distorted and crumbling guitar tone augments the melancholic tone, a deluge of sound that subsumes all in its immediate aftermath. With bassist William Spong and drummer Christian Leitch as two mighty pillars, they reinforce the immense structures, Spong occasionally – and perfectly – offering up moments of expression that enrich the songs. And Leitch's drum-work is phenomenal, bringing brightness with the cymbal work and finding force when required. Beneath the dense sound and the richly pained vocals, there's a melancholic beauty that is hopeful. Breath-taking. If you want to fully understand how powerful these songs are, check out this acoustic version of 'Restless'.
40 Watt Sun has to be the most apt name ever chosen for a band as it encapsulates perfectly the sound of the five songs contained within their debut album: a glimmer of hope, almost extinguished, but somehow holding on in the emptiness. The Inside Room is on the best albums of the year list, and very near – if not at – the top. And if, like me, you know very little about Walker's previous band, Warning, after digesting this, you will, like me, be checking them out.
- Open My Eyes
- Between Eyes
- Carry Me Home
- This Alone