Hiding in the shadows. Creeping through the darkness. Coming up behind us when we’re least expecting it. Singer/songwriter Wilhelm’s soft, eloquent vocal follows listeners as we wander down a sonic alleyway shrouded in black in “Carpet,” one of the cornerstone tracks of his new album Lace, which is out now and available everywhere that independent music is sold and streamed. With every stoic word that slips from his lips, Wilhelm draws closer to us, and by the time that this song has reached the finish line, the only thing separating artist from audience is the spindly strings of a fuzzy acoustic guitar.
The melodies in “Carpet” are black and white, but the way that they’ve been mixed is anything but simplistic in nature. Wilhelm seemingly goes out of his way to position the string play beside him rather than beneath him, and we’re subsequently challenged to divide our attention between their optimistic strut and the dirge of poetry pouring into the atmosphere through the opposite channel in our stereos. The juxtaposition never becomes so glaring that the track begins to break apart under the pressure of its own artistic premise, but at the same time, there’s an angst-ridden tension rendered out of this mix that, in my opinion, makes this single the cinematic delight that it is ultimately is.
There’s so much unvarnished emotion and pain in this song, so much undying heart in the visceral harmonies underpinning the verses, that it’s hard to analyze “Carpet” without seeing its heavy contrast with the mainstream folk music that has been making waves in 2019. All of Wilhelm’s energy is being utilized in this song, and as fragile as some of its most rousing moments tend to be, it’s obvious from the jump that this man has a personal investment in the material that he’s producing for us that goes well beyond his finances.
Because there are virtually no frills in this single, we’re offered the rare opportunity to absorb the raw substance of a song without any external influences to interrupt our consumption. There aren’t any big drum fills, stadium-shaking guitar solos, hip-hop percussive patterns, liberal political diatribes or guest appearances from obscure alternative singer/songwriters in this track – there’s just a man, his guitar, and a frigid statement about the love that is occupying his mind. Put simply, “Carpet” is folk music for adults, and it’s the sort of thought provoking conceptualism that we really needed this summer more than ever before.
I had no idea who this guy was when I first received a copy of Lace and its leadoff single “Carpet” for review, but frankly I haven’t been able to get enough of either since giving them a spin this July. Wilhelm is firing on all cylinders in this song, dispatching the sort of moody melodicism that made a young Nick Cave the standout among his Birthday Party brethren, and proving that you don’t have to write a symphony to compose something that is multidimensional, uncompromisingly honest and wholly original in its unparalleled emotional declarations. This is one of the finest singles that I’ve heard all year, and I have a feeling that once you check out “Carpet” for yourself, you’ll be saying the same thing.
The music of WILHELM has been heard all over the world due to the promotional services offered by Danie Cortese Entertainment & Publicity. Learn more here – http://www.daniecorteseent.com/