Mark Jasper is one half (or is it a third?) of Yorkshire based punks Witching Waves. Having upped sticks from the big smoke Jasper released this subdued solo effort back in October. ‘Without You’ is four tracks of introspective, deeply affecting songwriting.
The almost cheery opening guitars of title track Without You soon make way to minor chords and Jasper’s sombre vocals. It’s a message of longing and seeming dispair at the absolute mess of a world we’re living in, where it’s becoming more and more difficult to know what to believe. The tom heavy drums add to the quiet intensity on display.
The slow, brooding Correction has an extremely dark atmosphere. Think Radiohead’s Exit Music with a touch of Bonnie Prince Billy and Slint. It is incredibly bleak but stunningly beautiful, as Jasper’s haunting vocal echoes in the cavernous space created.
Eat The Berries is seemingly about depression and looking for a way out but feeling unable to find it. In it’s musicality it has an almost Under The Bridge-esque chord structure but thankfully doesn’t move anywhere near the direction of funk.
Final track The Sun is delicate, vulnerable and world weary.
“The summer we dreamed of when were young It is here now but all our energy has gone… and it burns me out”.
Jasper sounds utterly exhausted on what is probably the most dynamic track on “Without You”.
All in all this is a sizeable departure from the taut and nervous energy of Witching Waves, but no less powerful. A difficult but rewarding listen.
Not the feel good sound of the summer… but then it’s not summer is it?
It’s fittingly bleak given the year we’ve all just had and what we’re likely heading in to, but it’s gorgeous. Look after yourselves x
Without You is out now and available on limited cassette.