In a long and fascinating interview, the Chicago art-soul belter Willis Earl Beal recently announced plans to leave XL Recordings, his label, and to self-release his new album Experiments In Time through the DIY website CDBaby. (Not even Bandcamp! Or DatPiff! CDBaby!) He’s now shared the first of the songs from that album, and it’s a strong indication that XL fucked up by letting this guy burn out and leave. “Traveling Eyes” is an absolutely lovely song, a sort of impressionist spiritual, with Beal showing off his full vocal range and intoning a personal hymn over only a lightly-fingerpicked acoustic guitar. Listen to it below.
Beal plans to release Experiments In Time 8/8.