WARD WHITE – Here Come The Dowsers

Think Like A Key 2024

Here Come The Dowsers

Sarcastic Los Angeleno gets behind the scenes of screened stories and mysteries to divine the great divide of displays in the Hollywood Hills.

Accessing familiar things in an unfamiliar way has been Ward White’s creative method from the very beginning of his trip into the life-imitating-art abyss, which is on its fifteenth hell-circle now, but for all his cinematic approach to songwriting this musician rarely went rather literal when delivering albums about variously fascinating subjects. However, the eleven pieces that comprise “Here Come The Dowsers” dictate such a procedure – simply because they’re dedicated to films and the California locale where dreams are being mass-produced – without ever relying on outward effects. Despite a few curious characters inhabiting the record’s world, there’s an introvert angle to most of the tunes on offer, so don’t be fooled by tinsel covering them.

The listeners can allow themselves to get lulled, though, by deceptively delicate, yet sonically vigorous, opener “Continuity” that’s slow in releasing its melodic miracles via guitar twang and piano undercurrent, while the platter’s title track, flowing through Ward’s psychedelic picking of strings towards an infectious refrain, warrants a wondrous awakening. Abetted by his usual combo of ivories player Tyler Chester and drummer Mark Stepro, White will render the momentum-building balladry of the almost orchestral “Cliffhanger” no less irresistible, especially once riffs enter the frame to turn the cut into a tentative pop hit, before flaunting the ’60s-influenced jangle and vocal harmonies of “Our Town” only to shift its chorus into the next decade’s stylings and let “Johnny Fontane” delve into a velveteen grandeur of honeyed verses and comical bridges. And if the motorik “Blimp Street” feels bittersweet, the scintillating “Slow Sickness” spices the drift with a sitar-like solo, and the jazz-tinged “Pick Up Your Face” adds a life-affirming drive to art-rock effervescence.

All of this makes the gorgeously filigreed finale of “Speak, Harry” a fairy-tale farewell that hints at future adventures – something which Ward White is so fantastically good at. Let him roll it.


July 8, 2024

Category(s): Reviews
Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *