Whitemyer’s first ever studio experience was working with future Grammy Award winning producer Dave Carlock (Pink, Eric Clapton, Blink 182). “After that I was hooked. Hearing a song I wrote, professionally recorded sounded great,” said Whitemyer, “and was very satisfying”. The song was “Can I Love You”, which managed to make some impact on local radio in Michigan. Writing, playing guitar, and singing, over the years Whitemyer has worked with numerous bands. Eventually he decided to record the catalog of songs that he had been steadily building up, so about a year ago he launched his solo project using just his last name – Whitemyer.
Currently Whitemyer is flaunting his 3 track single, entitled “Arboreal Aged 14”. Alternative rock, Indie Rock, call it what you will, but Whitemyer is an awkward act to categorize, creating a sound that can only really be attributed to himself.
Whitemyer has a pretty distinct voice which doesn’t always sit comfortably on top of the music – an intentional tension-builder of which the rocker no doubt prides himself. From a technical point of view they’re fine vocal performances…but with a special twist. It’s just that Whitemyer’s music is not meant to comfort, but rather challenge the listener, to up their musical appreciation ante.
The mid-tempo groove of “Up Down Middle” is driven by chunky guitar riffs and screaming solo lines. All the goofily clever vocals hooks are evident, and for all the ferocity of the guitars, the instrumental set-up never conceals them. This song is as exiting through a pair of headphones as it no doubt will be, blaring across a dance floor on a Saturday night.
The title track “Arboreal Aged 14”, is even more energized, with its raw guitars and rolling drums chasing the song’s momentum, which is always on the run. Whitemyer again switches up his vocal tone to make sure you’re paying attention to his playful exhibitionism. It’s totally genius because you kind of get his personality besides the music.
“Your Love Into Mine” unfolds a completely different sound, dominated by keyboards instead of the overdriven guitars. The results do nothing to diminish the power and perfection of an artist who is capable completely reshaping the direction of his blend of alternative rock music. The beat is straight forward, the vocals mellifluous, and the lyrics sentimentally nostalgic.
This is a completely different Whitemyer in respect to the previous tracks, and shows another side of the singer-songwriter, closer to the mainstream pop aesthetic. Apart from this tuneful track, Whitemyer’s music seems to represent a return to the rough-and-rowdy, bursting-with-energy essence of rock.
Whitemyer’s songs seems to start with a germ of an idea, which he takes it wherever it leads him, without allowing anything to block the idea’s natural growth. Hence “Arboreal Aged 14” is a three-sided single that fully credits the concept of a not-too-easy listen, and yet despite, this you probably will not be able to stop going back to it.
It fuels so much of what we cannot find in mainstream music. It’s the way the drums crash in. Then there’s the jagged bass lines and the incessant guitar riffs that just don’t stop. The way Whitemyer’s vocals come in delivering those offbeat phrases. The whole thing sounds so live. So raw, so natural and so full of life.