- the wedding
- salt angel
- shivering fox
- you stutter when you sleep
- the sun in braids
- in on
- little gaze
- happy valley
- i give up. goodbye.
All Music Guide: Michael Plaster’s work in Soul Whirling Somewhere had, over time, seen him grow ever more detailed in his emotional obsessions on the one hand, and all the more beautifully deliberate with his music on the other. Please Sennd Help — and yes, the spelling is intentional — further developed all these trends, with long songs, a relentless (often internal) thematic focus on emotional closeness and a buildup to a rough conclusion. Opening track “The Wedding,” an instrumental, sets the sense of extremity in a careful way — the music is either completely enrapturing or utterly desolate (if not both), piano leading the way into a slow, melancholy progression, as if said wedding were filmed in sepia-tone at half-speed. The murky industrial/dance pulse that helps conclude “Box” and the shift to a more upbeat (of sorts) arrangement on “In On” demonstrates Plaster’s fondness for breaking his songs into two halves, different but complementary. Plaster’s singing is as ever a calm, gentle semi-whisper, considered but intense in a subtle way — contradictory perhaps, but it again describes the balance of extremes in the music as a whole. Hearing him say the titular name of “Nani” or stretching out the line “I’m glad we met” on “Box” is evidence of how he can use even a slight change in volume to sudden advantage. One of his best song titles surfaces here — “You Stutter When You Sleep.” The album ends on a truly bleak note with “I Give Up. Goodbye,” though as always it’s the separation between two elements — the sorrow in the words and the almost aspirational quality to the music, suddenly turning almost bright and even starting to rock out a bit — which is particularly noteworthy. Even the cover art demonstrates the two sides at work — a picture of a large flower, but with a sharp fish hook catching a petal in one corner.
i attach too easily and it just leaves me empty.
Infused with the heartbreak of David Sylvian, the musical sensitivity of Harold Budd, the piercing lyrical inquisition of black tape for a blue girl, and the personal insight of a man reflecting on the past five years of failure, Soulwhirlingsomewhere’s Please sennd help is a strikingly personal album of acute soul-searching and self-awareness.
please sennd help – Soulwhirlingsomewhere’s 4th Projekt release since their 1993 debut – is driven by Michael Plaster’s delicate voice, atop an exquisite web of reverbed piano melodies, ambiently processed guitars and drifting electronic synthscapes. It’s an elegant environment, where a sense of realization and discovery prevails.
Michael explains where this 2001 collection of songs originated… “Most of Please sennd help was written between 1996 and 1998; about a few relationships I jumped into too quickly. In 2000 – when I began to finally record the songs – they started to take on a different angle. In retrospect, maybe things weren’t as wonderful as I had tried to fool myself into believing; and maybe their endings weren’t as traumatic as I had felt at the time. Ultimately all I had done was spend a few years trying to fill a hole in my life; a void inside me that I still haven’t figured out how to fill.”