Monday, 9 April 2018

William Elliott Whitmore - Untitled

I recently completed my William Elliott Whitmore LP collection after finding a copy of Ashes to Dust on vinyl, an album I'd had on cd for years. This record, conversely, was the start of the collection.

During the Tuesday-Record-From-Spillers year, I found this six-song EP in their racks and quickly decided that was going to be my purchase that week. I'd been introduced to his music a year beforehand and his name kept coming up from people I knew in Cardiff; a year later he played a sold-out show in The Globe on easily the hottest day of the year and it was incredible. I think everyone I knew in Cardiff was there and he wowed us all.

At the start of the Tuesday-Record-From-Spillers I was diligently recording the records I bought onto cds (via a USB turntable) to play on the kitchen hifi. Despite never having proper mp3s of these songs, I knew them so well because that cd got a lot of play. It still lives on, in the spindle of cdrs in my car, and the short duration means that I often end up playing it a couple of times over. The version of Sometimes Our Dreams Float Like Anchors is billed as the "Winter Version", and I'd go to say that it's less warm than the album version, but that's all relative - even at the end when the banjo stops and we're just left with Will's incredible voice, it's hard to describe it as anything other than warm. I know this version much more than the original from all those plays in the kitchen.

The first two songs are from Song of the Blackbird, which I think was his newest at the time; Anchors is from the excellent Hymns For the Hopeless. The first song on the second side is Have Mercy, a song that wouldn't appear on any record until 2015's Radium Death. I was very confused when I got home to play the record (with the appropriate level of excitement for a new WEW record) and heard a song I knew very well. Buildin' Me a Home is a traditional song, but such a fine example of William's voice - it's like being wrapped in a thick blanket. The final song only appears on this record, as far as I can tell - it's one of his more upbeat southern-country style songs.

This record also introduced me to the concept of the Latitudes Sessions, a series I now have a few releases from - this was the fourth in series (indexed at 0) - I also have Dälek (#6), Gowns (#19) and A Storm of Light (#23), but looking through the list there are a few others I'd be keen to hear. The list of artists who have recorded a session is incredibly mixed and interesting. As I've mentioned in the other posts, I love the artwork used across the series. This is the red vinyl of the WEW record, which was the more numerous (800 copies, and 200 on green).

Format: 12", die-cut sleeve, insert
Tracks: 6
Cost: £10 new
Bought: Spillers Records, Cardiff
When: 26/02/08
Colour: Transparent red
Etching: none
mp3s: no