by Sean Jewell ::
Since relocating to the Northwest, Willis Earl Beal has released an album and an EP independently, 21 tracks of experimental soul that sounds like a man alone in a church with an organ singing streams of consciousness into the ether. Together they’re referred to as Experiments in Time: The Golden Hour. Beal has been unpredictable throughout his career, lauded for his soulful songs and abstract guitar playing style, criticized for occasionally admonishing his own crowds, leaving his record label in an altruistic huff, and donning a mask for public appearances.
Beal doesn’t seem to be able to do anything normal, but therein lies his appeal; he’s the unabashed embodiment of fear of success. His songs are random ideas, self motivators, depressed prayers, physical observations accompanied by found sounds, electric piano and silence. His voice is golden as the sun, and has twice the range, so his songs reach you in the form of warm, life-affirming light.
Why then, would he go from a record contract to living along I-5 making experimental soul and performing at tiny, random venues in Seattle‘s massive music scene?
We could write volumes about what we don’t know about Willis Earl Beal, but what we do know is that he will be playing the Sunset Monday night, and he deserves your utmost attention. No matter which phase of his career he chooses to pull from Monday it’ll be enthralling, ethereal, soul that’ll likely have you thinking about how your experiment in time here on Earth is going thus far.