Let’s just get this out of the way right now, if you ever use the line “you’re the sugar to my tea”, you should be getting laid. Portland based singer/songwriter Shawn Lawson Freeman definitely knows this. And when you sing and play guitar in the fashion of Sting or Justin Nozuka, yet have a real depth to your style that comes off more like Neil Young or a happy-go-lucky Elliott Smith, you may have created a “winning” combination. And on Freeman’s latest project under the surfer friendly pseudonym, Beneath Wind and Waves, we find a master of simplicity moving in a direction that is both sea bound and earth friendly.
I can’t lie, there were was one deliberate reason I looked into Beneath Wind and Waves’s Non-etre. And that was Stephanie Schneiderman. The brilliant songstress (her album Rubber Teardrops is one of the finest examples of electro-folk created in this millennium) notably guest-stars three times on this album. But, once you get into the rhythm of the album, you are likely to not only forget Schneiderman’s influence (if you are as obsessed as I am), but find yourself surprised when you actually hear her sprout up on a few tracks.
Listening to Non-etre through it’s entirety is not only an experience worth a simple listen, it is an experience worth total exposure that features beautiful lines for getting lucky, losing love, losing life, and tearing apart demons that rest inside your weathered bones. Likely, the first descriptor is the most important, but you can have the chance to decide for yourself on this amazing debut album of Beneath Wind and Waves.
Overall, Non-etre is a gentle, heart warming expose of the gently humorous world we should be living in. Sure we all feel pain from time to time. But, it’s best not to revel in it for too long. Of course, the concept of pain and misery makes for a perfect fucking song, but sometimes we really need to be a little bit more like Lou Reed in the 80’s rather than Sigur Ros of the now. That is just a fact of life. Sometimes we have to say to hell with it, let’s get our dicks wet in the salt water of the earth, and see if he turn out alright. Most likely we will. And this is exactly the sort of positive yet negative vibe that Beneath Wind and Waves has created with amazing success.
Listen: “Transference” by Beneath Wind and Waves
Listen: “Loop Me In” by Beneath Wind and Waves
2. Loop Me In
3. To Be Special
4. Angry Love
5. I Am You
6. God Said
8. Hold On Tight
9. The War Time Days
11. Counter Transference