What We Will Be, by Spirit Night (AKA Shepherdstown, WV’s Dylan Balliett), has all the sweeping, playful, overwrought, lo-fi wonder and wizardy that Stephin Merritt cooks up when he barricades himself in the bedroom with a Casio and a ukulele. So this is nice, but what I’m really wanting is a triple record of songs in an approximately alphabetical order.
The album juggles folky singalongs and spaced-out ruminations, maintaining a welcome air but remaining a single-minded undertaking. Like a time capsule or postcard, it delivers a message, a summarizing snapshot from a clearly demarked span of time. Such singular works are the product of experience, and though the stories behind the songs will elude us, I at least am gratified to know they came from somewhere.
To zero in, I particularly enjoy “Don’t Miss Me.” A song with poorly fated, romantic tunnel vision, it wears the album’s ambient, echo-y feel like a tattered bathrobe (which presumably the song’s luckless narrator did for weeks afterward). Other songs have more pluck, but “Don’t Miss Me” has a deep production quality that belies the fact that only a small handful of individuals were contributing.
And incidentally, the cover of What We Will Be is by Mr. Bryan Minnich, designer of the rock-o-clock header that delights and inspires you each time you visit. He also contributed to this blog. Once.