Willis Earl Beal's new studio album, Nobody knows., will be released by HXC Recordings on September 10th.
"I want to be a shadow, not the man casting it."
It's a strange comment given the life Willis Earl Beal has lived since the release of his debut album, Acousmatic Sorcery, last year. He's traveled the world, performed to thousands of fans on stages and televisions shows and sat through countless interviews with major publications. It would appear that Beal's light is shining bright, but Beal is a paradox. He's never been one to care about reality or its implications. Instead, he's a self-styled sorcerer that wills a surreality of his own.
A true outsider ("I've never fit in anywhere. And I've been everywhere," he admits), Beal entered our world on a wave of intrigue due to his unbelievable story. Born and raised on the Southside of Chicago, he made his way across America in search of the desert, eventually reaching Albuquerque, New Mexico. Desperately alone and sleeping rough, he kept himself company by singing late into the night. He eventually found work and got a place of his own where he set-up a cheap karaoke machine to record the thoughts, sketches and raw soundscapes that would become his debut album. As he traveled back to Chicago, he left CD-Rs of his music along the way (and also found time to audition for Simon Cowell's The X Factor), adding to Acousmatic Sorcery's reputation as a no-fi field recording.
While Beal recognizes Acousmatic Sorcery's value, he always wanted to make an album as grandiose as the one that's been living in his imagination.
Recorded "everywhere and nowhere", Nobody knows, is that album. Commenting on the process, Beal says, "It started a long time ago. It essentially took 29 years to accumulate the experience and the emotion I put into this record."
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