Westerman has returned with his first new single in two years.
Westerman knows how to take his time. His debut album, the excellent Your Hero Is Not Dead (one of my favorites of 2020) came about after a few years of lead-up singles and some EPs. Now, two years later, he's shared a new track and announced an extensive tour for 2023. The song features some hallmarks from his other best pieces of work: flowing acoustic guitars, his angelic croon, and an airy delivery. However, where Your Hero Is Not Dead was coated in a glossy, synth-pop sheen, this track takes on a quieter, more contemplative melody and mood. This go around, he also enlisted the help of James Krivchenia (drummer from Big Thief) to act as a co-producer and you wouldn't be wrong to mistake this track, at first, for something off Adrianne Lenker's solo record. Jazzy drum brushes underscore the folk-style guitar playing as twinkling piano accents the more lofty moments of the track giving it a rooted feeling as subtle brass gives it refreshing character. According to the press release, this track was recorded right after the storming of the US Capitol in January 2021 and marks a new chapter in his career. "'Idol; RE-run' is a meditation on false prophets and poisonous internet echo chambers, and an exorcism of sociological frustration." It's a balm of a track that floats with elegance and refined grace, even if the subject matter itself is full of stress. Even as he oozes out the phrase "mother fucker," he does so with a stylized patience making even the darkest moments shine with serene promise and a glimmer of hope.