Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

You know that feeling you get when you hear a band or musician, and within about 20 seconds say to yourself, "Wow, this person is going to be pretty big before too long"? That's the sense I get when I watch videos of 27 year-old Chicago musician Willis Earl Beal

Beal just put out his debut album Acousmatic Sorcery on Hot Charity, an imprint of XL Records, earlier this month. While the album itself has drawn a good amount of attention, Beal's backstory is equally intriguing: he gained attention around Chicago from flyers he hung up saying that he'd sing you a song if you called him, and that he'd draw you a picture if you wrote him. Seriously, you can still find his phone number and address right here on his website!

Beal wrote the songs for Acousmatic Sorcery while living in Albuquerque, NM before moving back to his native Chicago. His music is very raw, often accoustic, and dripping in soul and emotion. He often gets compared to Tom Waits, a comparison that Beal himself does not shy away from, and as he told Pitchfork in an interview in February, Waits is his favorite artist — stating clearly that he "want[s] to be the black Tom Waits." Musical styles on the album range from slow acoustic ballads to stomp-and-clap roots numbers.

You can catch Beal this Friday, May 4th at the brand-spanking-new Barboza, which is located downstairs from Neumos. 

{7p doors / $12 adv / 21+}