Lee County, Iowa’s favorite son, William Elliot Whitmore, returns with another strong set of blues balladry on the enticing project, Animals in the Dark.
A prolific singer-songwriter, Whitmore has shared the stage with the best in the business, including The Pogues, Clutch, and Lucero. Animals in the Dark traipses through many of the same themes inherent on his previous releases Hymns for the Hopeless, Ashes to Dust, Latitudes and Song of the Blackbird. That’s not to say Animals is full of dark blues, and that’s the twist. Whitmore has the unusual ability to be a truly uplifting musical troubadour on the genuinely affecting anthem, "There’s Hope For You." But, the gravelly voice that has been long compared to Tom Waits and Captain Beefhart still holds sway on the piercing opening track, "Mutiny," and the haunting reverie, "Who Stole the Soul."
Three classic numbers anchor Animals in the Dark, and it would not be surprising to hear each covered by inspired, like-minded artists in the near future. "Johnny Law" is full of raucous rebellion, "Old Devils" stretches through a never ending span in time, and "Hell or High Water" is a hymn for the ages.
William Elliot Whitmore searches for new approaches to redefine his music on Animals in the Dark. This is one disc that begs to be analyzed, picked apart, and relished over and over again. Don’t miss out on it.
Animals in the Dark is out now on Anti- Records.