Denison Witmer is the self-titled, ninth album from the Philadelphia singer-songwriter, and sees him follow similar paths to many of his genre. Of course with such a style of music there is the ever-looming pitfall of the one-man troubadour; of falling into the bland, forgettable, or just wholly average category.
Fortunately Denison Witmer avoids all of these. It finds its loophole with sheer sincerity and lyrical intelligence. Constant Muse tells of its writers struggle to find whether his mind is at ease or if he actually just tired of caring. Keep Moving Brother, Keep Moving Sister tells a similar tale of self-discovery, “ I’m determined to change, I mark the corner but I’m turning the page…”. Asa meanwhile is reminiscent of a less metaphorical Bon Iver whilst Right Behind You’s acoustic guitar line mesmerises while lyrics of adoration enchant – an album highlight. Label-boss Sufjan Stevens is one of the most prominent comparisons and pleasingly gives a hand to Witmer in the studio.
The record was inspired after a trip to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, where Witmer discovered that his music, like art, is about the creative process just as much as the end result. This idea of a process is a running theme on the album, and by the closing seconds of the final track, Take Yourself Seriously, it feels as if Denison Witmer is just a little closer to the final goal – whatever that might be.