William Carlos Whitten – ‘Burn My Letters’

Burn My Letters is a brief glimpse into a deep, one-sided obsession and a tense and nihilistic treat.

Memorable, slow-paced, atmospheric and dripping with a palpable bitterness, Burn My Letters is a dark kaleidoscope of queasy, off-key keyboards, Sonic Youth guitar chords and Bill Whitten’s deep drawl. It’s ominous and mesmerising, like a distant tornado.

There’s a real sense of threat inherent in the tune and the lyrics, but Burn My Letters draws you in anyway, like a relationship destined to turn toxic. And having been drawn in, you’ll have no choice but to stick around.

The warning signs are there from the start. This is not your regular love song:

It was your emptiness that appealed to me
And your hair the colour of tarnished cutlery

That’s one side of the story, the other side is given with the compulsive repetition of a single phrase throughout the song.

She said burn my letters

It lasts barely two and half minutes, and in that time it only hints at the full story. This serves to make it more intriguing – you sense that this shit could go anywhere. This thing is out of control now.

To love is to divest
Of all that I possess
Well, I’m a beggar now
And I’ll go beg for more

Bill Whitten has been making intelligent, literate, ‘alternative’ rock for more than two decades as singer/songwriter for St Johnny and Grand Mal, collaborating with the likes of Mercury Rev, The Flaming Lips and VietNam along the way. Burn My Letters is the title track from his soon to be released debut solo album.

Burn My Letters by William Carlos Whitten is available for pre-order now from the I Heart Noise Bandcamp page with both the full digital album and cassette released on 4th June.

William Carlos Whitten - Burn My Letters


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Nick Perry

Nick writes fact, fiction and opinion in various places including
his music blog noisecrumbs.com. His musical tastes cover indie, grunge, golden-era hip hop, punk, funk, psychedelia and a big portion of distortion. You can and should follow him on Twitter @NoiseCrumbs.

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