Whelm

by Sacha Mullin

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    Artwork and design by Allison Osberg.

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about

"...From the first moments of Whelm, Sacha's debut solo album, you know you're in for listening that will allow you to temporarily escape from the gray norm. The singer-songwriter's snaking, soulful vocals bolster music that's often dark and fragile, sending you on a journey[.]"
- FRANK KROLICKI, EXAMINER.COM / WINDY CITY ROCK

"...The contrast between Mullin's polished and well-trained vocals and Guzzlemug's passion for the extreme that make this album uniquely interesting."
-THE DELI MAGAZINE

“…The great revelation is the uncommon voice of Sacha Mullin: a neurasthenic mixture of Freddie Mercury and a jet-lagged Morrissey; a voice both brittle and glorious, aspiring to take the height to escape terrestrial gravity.”
- CÉDRIC QUENIART (J’AI TOUT LU, TOUT VU, TOUT BU…)

"An ambitious first work! ... SACHA MULLIN is one of the most versatile and compelling singers I have ever heard. He embraces music in its entirety, denying any limits to genre. What a joy!"
- JUDI DONAGHY VINAR (BOBBY MCFERRIN'S VOICESTRA)

"[His] voice is a real adventure!"
- THYMME JONES (CHEER-ACCIDENT)
_____________________

Chicago-based vocalist Sacha Mullin is equal parts banshee, crooner, and typographical error waiting to happen. His cinematic singing style has given way to performances in underground jazz venues, conch shell orchestras, and Japanese jingles.

Sacha has sung with Bobby McFerrin, Patty Peterson, Cheer-Accident, Hannibal Lokumbe and Dessa, and his voice has been heard on MTV, CBS, MPR, and NHK.

Largely influenced by Kate Bush, Scott Walker, and Siobhán Donaghy, WHELM is his first long-playing solo work. By using prog/metal experimentalists Guzzlemug as a backing band, WHELM exudes a rich, off-kilter aura. It documents a darkly cathartic experience through a claustrophobic use of harmonies, vintage electronics, and big beats.

credits

released June 24, 2013

SACHA MULLIN, lead vocal, chorus, piano, moog, keyboards, synth manipulation, kalimba, tambourine, shaker

Guzzlemug (guzzlemug.bandcamp.com):
SHANE PRENDIVILLE, guitars, synth manipulation, programming
TOM KELLY, electric bass, upright bass
CHARLIE WERBER, drums, additional percussion

with:
SASHA GIBBS, featured vocal [m2, m8], chorus [m6]
ERIC LUNDGREN, electric guitar [m3]
ZACKARY WARPINSKI, electric bass [m3]
JAKE KIRKMAN, drums [m3]

produced by Sacha Mullin & Shane Prendiville
except [m3], [m7] by Sacha Mullin & Aaron Hodgson
Mastered by Aaron Hodgson

Engineered/Tracked/Mixed by Shane Prendiville
Except [m3], [m7] and Sasha Gibbs vocals by Aaron Hodgson
Except piano on [m8] with assistance by Jon Beavo

Recorded in Illinois, Minnesota and New York, 2011; 2012-2013
Hideaway Studios, Minneapolis, MN
McKern Complex, Saint Paul, MN
Kildare Studios, Chicago, IL
Kelly's Place, New York, NY
Shane and Tom's living room, Chicago, IL

All songs written/arranged by Sacha Mullin © 2013
Except [m7] by Brenda Russell (for Donna Summer),
© 1987 Geffen Music/Rutland Road Music ASCAP; Arr. Mullin –
Appears with permission from Universal-MCA (Acquired through Harry Fox)

Photography/Art Direction: Allison Osberg
Styling: Rachael Zalutsky


_________________
SPECIAL THANKS:

My ma & da (Sharon & Stephen), Judi Donaghy Vinar, Emily Bindiger, David T. Lewis, Annmarie Cullen, Liz Mason, Jeff Libersher, Sarah Winters, Oisín Leonard, Jennifer Parker, Cody William Baldwin, Tricia Towey, Lori Dokken & Kate Perich, Josh & Megan Airman, Joe-Joe, A.O.M. Joni, L.L.G's, Nicholas Garrison, the Tromiczak, Mann, and Vandeputte families, and all my friends, mentors, loved ones, what-have-you's-

Thanks for making me feel like an empowered youngster. I can only hope I've made you proud. xx

(And to everyone credited on the record: Hot damn, y'all! We made it!)

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Track Name: Thunderbird
Young boy fascinated by sound;
Took to water and almost drowned
Young boy didn't like what he was,
Re-invented to fit the buzz

He ignored omens of a zero hour
People get hurt when you squander power
They'd say 'Child, you're a bit absurd'
But he kept on flapping like a thunderbird...

Sometimes anger would beam from his eyes
People ran from the rain that betrayed the skies
Was he doomed by his gift to be torn asunder,
Or was he born to fly into such sweet thunder?

The whale's determined to kill the sea
Look at that asinine irony
Good ones come, but great ones go,
Pulled into the crypt of an undertow

The boy could feel the light like sheets
In the end, self-awareness was true defeat
Now, cooler than the wind, he's a Model-T,
Trying not to sink in the sonic sea

Grew to shapeshift into a man into a mask,
At the bottom of the totem, he's a star at last
Track Name: Night Owl (feat. Sasha Gibbs)
I have a recurring dream
The last six years were hard on me
I drank a lot of it away
Got wound that won't heal
Wounds that reveal
Wounds I can't deal with mending anytime in the near-future
Wounds that suppress
Wounds that undress my guard

And you don't even know that I am
Waiting for you at the way end
I'd never let the bad get to you

Night owl,
When the day is done,
The past comes out
It prowls,
And it swoops and I am done for

Kate says 'be kind to my mistakes'
But still I judge each move I make
I've lost a lot of real good love
Oh, rose-coloured time
Seems to to be my
Favourite spot to be when I dwell masochistically
I stay up all night,
Hoping to be all right
I am done for

I feel we share convergently,
Is dreamtime our reality?
Track Name: Braggers
Fall into ships
Built by pirates
Who set sail towards panic

Know that I am out of defense
Know that I am because of insecurity
Know that I am because it's all I know
Why should I brag?

Walls will flitter
Double-hitter
Set sail towards panic

Know that I am out to do good things
Know that I am out of love
Know that I am out of luck
So who am I to brag and where am I to go?

How is it self-consciousness
Slips in like a party guest with a gun?
Someone please, I'm on my knees
I can feel myself slipping with this one
Hold me now, hold me now,
Where's the fortune in 'alone'?
Hold me now, drive me home

Mind the braggers,
Built with daggers
Built by all this
We are all near panic

Know that I am out of excuses
Know that I am out of resources
Know that I am out of my mind...
Track Name: Days (You Are Loved)
Days will come, days will go
And I know how I feel
Days will be ways to leave
And I hope that I heal

Days will glow, let them grow,
As I fold like a battle
Then I go, 'fuck this show',
As she goes to Seattle

Ah, and for what you are,
You are loved
Track Name: Atlas Heart
I'm ready to wisen and grow new skin
But I've devolved into your power plant
You want the visions inside my head
I want the freedom to breathe again

Carry your problems without a choice
Can't let the sky fall- here, have my voice
Can't let you down when I live here too
Living your weight, what am I to do?

Atlas. . .
I've got an atlas heart

My friends don't come round here no more
They're just as frightened of your folklore
Cocoon in my room tuning out the roar
In natural shadows, so as to hide from yours

Oh, in the middle of the night, I falter
Track Name: Mark Vogue
You've gotta way with words
You chirp like birds, shot down by rifle
You've gotten away with a lot and you'll never get caught
You're too hard to decipher

It seems to me that you're not with the quarter I just spent
On this engagement ring
But I'll keep you round 'cause I am lonely and boning and groaning
For more of your sweet thing

Still, I often fantasise that I'm alive,
When eye-to-eye with a whiskey
That I will be free from you, suburban shrew,
But the odds of that are too risky
Track Name: Self-Portrait (feat. Sasha Gibbs)
All I want, all I want is for you not to be happy
All I want, all I want is for you not to be sad
If you need, if you need, there's an exit straight on the left
Then you'll see, then you'll see, the key's not to be bereft

All I want, all I want is for you not to be happy
All I want, all I want is for you not to be sad
If you feel that you need to know why I left
Then you'll see, then you'll see, that this works best

And you
And me
And, oh...
Track Name: Bullet-Biter
You say you wanna leave
That look means 'come with me'
Social context deceives
Everything else you're intending

I wish you'd give me space
'Few inches from your face
But you won't go away
Raincloud, pick another day

I do so much for you that I know that you'll never know
Ooh, it's that ungratefulness every time that makes me low
I do so much for you that I know that you'll never know
Too bad you space it out- out front with fists, let's have a go!

Bullet-biter
Night time fighter
Bullet-biter
Word igniter

I cling to dignity
What little I can see
Look what you've done to me
I'm lacking hours of sleep
I've got my own regrets
Don't want you making bets
There ain't all that much left
You can touch me, but you can't touch that

Tapped out on sympathy
All gone on clemency
Approach you with wary
You're a loaded glock that makes me flee

I'm sick of wasting air
On advice that I share
It's really so unfair
You should man up and grow a pair

You'll never comprehend the sheer amount of gravity
I put into each emotion that you leak
You'll never quite understand just how much gravity
Is coming from you as I'm either stuck in orbit
Or I'm lost at sea

I cling to dignity
What little I can see
Look what you've done to me
You've bruised me with your deceit
I've got my own regrets
Lord knows I'm losing bets
I'm martyred by your theft
You can touch me, but you can't touch that

I'm under such pressure to keep it together
To be the good person I am
Would having a row in the here and the now
Really be like an alakazam?
The cross-hair's on you and your limited view,
To the point that our talks are unfasing
Still given the time, I'll advance in the line
I'll take back what's mine:
My soul with all guns blazing

I've kept this all inside
My nerves on override
A greying glimpse of pride
Struggling with all you implied
Suprised I stayed this long
Knowing you done me wrong
You bled what made me strong
Gotta find a place where I belong
Track Name: Whelm
In the midst of this all, I've been whelmed
Can't you see by the lesions formed on the surf?
Surely malice has been the one at the helm;
It absorbed my self-worth

Often one feels gutted by a hurtful word
When I'd ache, you would take
When I'd break, you would flake

And back against the wall, back from the dead
You drowned me, baby
I relearned how to breathe, you're denied a reprieve, 'cause
You've refused to atone, so I go it alone
I'm falling for lonely, you hear?

All the times I've spent in monochrome,
I'd forgotten about spectrums
And I've paid for it all, just like a man,
'Cause that's just the kind of girl I am

Living is heart-breaking, don't you feel ashamed?
I'm submerged on the verge of your urge; it's a dirge

And here we go again, again with the hurt
You've drowned me baby
You say I lost the plot, but it's you who forgot how to love
You've refused to atone, so I go it alone
I've fallen for lonely, is that clear?

"Don't give it up
I heal and hide
Forgive this hurt of mine"