William Elliott Whitmore - Field Songs (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

William Elliott Whitmore

Field Songs (2011)


Out now on Anti- Records comes William Elliott Whitmore's fifth proper release. And he's authentic, charismatic and captivating as ever. With his gruff, soulful voice, Field Songs stays consistent with the William Elliott Whitmore you and I both fell for when he opened for Against Me! on the Searching for a Former Clarity tour. Or maybe you were recently won over when he opened for Chris Cornell lasts spring (what? Yep.).

Field Songs keeps it simple with nothing more than a banjo or guitar with the occasional foot stomping. Staying true to what he knows, Whitmore tells tales of life on the countryside. I'm trying not to fall into the cliché of mentioning how this 33-year-old brings the feeling and soulfulness of someone well beyond his years, but it's so true and undeniable. This album takes you right there out in the fields of the farm, the front porch or the riverbanks of Whitmore's home state in Iowa. Field Songs is not necessarily a concept album; but keeping in theme, sprinkled throughout are actual field sounds of birds singing and crickets chirping.

Although the eight-track record is best listened to start to finish, I think the real standout track is "Bury Your Burdens in the Ground". It's the opening track of the album and rolls out nice and smooth setting the tone of the album with a slow strum on the banjo, with birds chirping in the background and, yes, that signature gruff voice of Mr. Whitmore.

If you were never really into William Elliott Whitmore, I'm not sure this is the album that will win you over if nothing has yet–just because I find it incredibly consistent with his prior releases (which are stellar). However, if you are already on board, you'll be stoked to know the same exact thing–that Field Songs is incredibly consistent and a lovely addition to his discography.