In February 2013, Jimmy Whispers was badly beaten up in his Chicago hometown. The organ player and sometime graffiti artist was walking home drunk from a party when he was jumped and kicked in the mouth, losing a tooth and chipping half off another. Shocked and upset, he retreated into himself, only leaving his house to go to work and drinking heavily in the evenings. Two years on, Whispers is preparing for the release of his debut album ‘Summer In Pain’ (released in Europe via Field Mates Records and via Moniker in America).
The latest song to be taken from the record, ‘Keeping Me High’, creaks around a wonky organ melody and wounded J Mascis-style vocals. The long-haired Whispers’ verses are so quietly intimate you get the feeling he’d rather nobody heard him, and listening to him whine sweetly about “beating myself up for doing no wrong” feels like prying. His organ, oscillating gently, is in stark contrast to some frustrated, lonely and confused lyrics: “Talking to myself/ I don’t know what I’m saying/ I don’t know what’s wrong with me”. Fans of Ariel Pink and John Maus will be attracted to Whispers’ scuffed, offbeat style, but his is a more fragile eccentricity. Dive into ‘Keeping Me High’ and grab hold of it, carefully. ‘Summer In Pain’ is released on Field Mates on March 24.