Last year, the 26-year-old London musician Westerman released a handful of slick yet folky art-pop tracks. They were promising, but still felt like a glimpse of an artist working out his voice. Westerman recently returned with something truly special: “Confirmation,” an assured and pristine new single that suggests this is an artist it may be time to get pretty excited about.
A deceptively complex composition, “Confirmation” dexterously slides between abrupt chord changes while teasing out its gorgeous chorus melody so that, over the course of its brief run time, it subtly transforms from wispy and conversational to something more plaintive. Either way, it was the kind of chorus that burrows into your consciousness after only a few listens. And the overall aesthetic of it is something to behold: ’80s-indebted, sure, but touching on a fertile yet lesser-revisited strain of shimmering, sparse twilit pop like that of the Blue Nile. Westerman wields the sound masterfully on “Confirmation,” so much so that one can’t help but hope he has a lot more material like this on the way.
Today, Westerman’s also shared the accompanying video for “Confirmation.” Directed by Jonjo Lowe, it almost feels like two completely separate clips stitched together. After a brief intro, the video takes us to a candy store, where a purple-skinned Westerman drifts through and catches befuddled and disgusted glances from the other people in the room. After he spills a bunch of candy onto the floor, the video suddenly brings us into the purple man’s world, a nocturnal and hidden space of similarly purple-skinned men eating grapes and drinking wine and backing Westerman up as he resolutely faces down the camera, guitar in hand.
The division seems intentional. “We tried to put across otherness, impulsiveness and escapism,” Westerman says of the video. “These are concepts I associate with, so I tried to make it a bit more of a personal thing than what I’ve done before. I hope it’s playful and fun too.” That is indeed the arc of the video. After the awkward candy store event, you’re whisked away into this other place, one that’s as lush and romantic and enigmatic as the song itself. Check it out below.