23-year-old singer/songwriter Whitney Ballen‘s music is nothing short of honest as she strips the paint off her subjects leaving them bare and exposed. Unspoiled, she lets her voice breathe its message without studio enhancement and trickery, taking her time allowing the project to grow organically through thoughtful, well-crafted lyric and production values.
In true Ballen-esque style, this 6-song full length of musical vignettes is inspired by her love of the nearby town of Fall City and fond memories of back road excursions, mountain hiking, campfires, and the foggy chill in the morning air of North Bend and Snoqualmie. Says Whitney, “It is a very wintery album, as most songs were written in the season and have a cold, dreamy feeling attached to them.”
A longtime local media darling, Whitney is an artist in every sense of the word, understanding the art of storytelling and embellishment through stimulating and thought provoking multi-media images and sound. A poetic empathizer, dreamer and hopeless romantic, she remains true to herself, never bowing to conformity or industry pressure. Seattle has always crushed on Ms. Ballen and that love affair has now gone beyond the High School, Let’s Go Steady phase to the Promise Ring as her fans have grown up and continue to support her music having successfully funded her FALLS Kickstarter campaign.
Always a stickler as to capturing true, honest sound recordings, I was impressed to learn that all the recording sessions took place after hours at the Old Fire House Teen Center Studio when the building was empty. Besides its value to the all-ages scene, OFH has been Whitney’s second home having put in countless hours as a volunteer and regular performer which enabled her to settle into her recordings with a level of comfortability. Engineer and friend, Dylan Wall (Naomi Punk, Weed, The Numbs, and some Cairo mixtapes), also played some bass and friend Everett Phillips, broke out his high school trumpet on two tracks. The album was mastered by Jordan Koop from The Noise Floor Recording Studio, in Vancouver, BC.
My favorite track which happens to be Whitney’s favorite is, “TORN.” Says Whitney, “I think it’s my most favorite because I have played it to myself in my bedroom for more than 4 years and never ever played it live until I recorded it in December. When I wrote it, I was feeling something, and for some reason, I can feel that same feeling every time I play it and it’s eerie.”
FALLS drops online Tuesday, 3/18 on BandCamp, Spotify, iTunes, and Amazon. Her all-ages CD Release party is at the Heartland performance space in the University District of Seattle on Saturday, March 22nd. Special Guests are the 2pc lo-fi Rock duo Specters with their youthful energy, uncomplicated Power-Pop meets 90’s Garage Band riffs. Doors are at 8pm and recommended donation is $5-$7. RSVP early here: https://www.facebook.com/events/254859324692393
Upcoming FALLS Tour Schedule:
3/23 Make Shift, Bellingham w/ Rubix, Lures, and Creech
3/25 Guest House, Olympia with Get Mom (Jeff Stillwell, formerly “Deer City”)
3/26 KPSU Radio In-Studio, Portland
3/28 The Mint, Los Angeles w/ Marco Benevento and Electric Power