Westerman Your Hero Is Not Dead PTKF
Something about Westerman’s sound has always seemed inherently therapeutic, as if he makes music with the expressed intention of reaching in the inside of your soul and fixing whatever’s wrong. The 28-year-old Londoner’s debut album begins with a similar mantra of sorts – crystal clear vocals, layered in rich harmony, professing the record’s title again and again: “Your hero is not dead. Your hero is not dead.” It feels like an affirmation, a quelling of our worst fears; yes, things may be fucked up right now, but the people who can carry you out of this mess, well, they’re still here.
It’s no coincidence that Westerman’s music is peppered with instruments one could easily find in a box on the floor of any music therapist’s soothing, shag-carpeted office. Bongos and woodblocks, gently strummed guitars and lo-fi Casio beats abound, cocooning the listener in a nostalgic haze of 80s sophisti-pop, albeit run through a sun-blistered tape deck. Woozy single Waiting on Design is a haze of handclaps and effervescent beats, Westerman’s falsetto skipping through the muted, pitter-pattering percussion with equal parts solemnity and glee.
If there is any justice in this world, his now career-long collaboration with Bullion should go down as one of indie music’s great partnerships. Their sensibilities fit together seamlessly, an aching troubadour and a master soundcrafter, coming together to redefine the sound of introspection and heartbreak. Your heroes are not dead: certainly, they are just now being born.