David West has been making underground pop for over a decade now. He was born and bred in Western Australia but now he lives in New York City. You might have heard him playing in bands like Rat Columns, Rank/Xerox, Liberation, Lace Curtain, Burning Sensation and Total Control – because he really likes to make music.
Since 2015 he’s been making and releasing material under his own name, first with the Night People/Happy Endin’ full-length cassette Drop Out Of Collage and then with his Peace Or Love LP.
Now he’s back with the album Cherry on Willow (order it here) and he’s assembled a backing group he calls Teardrops – an eclectic gang of friends and collaborators including Bob Jones of Eaters, Louis Hooper of Rat Columns, Mikey Young of Total Control, Eddy Current Suppression Ring and Raven Mahon of Grass Widow.
Cherry on Willow is a real charmer or a record. Written with a “first thought best thought philosophy” that meant trusting his instincts and not over thinking things. It’s a record that’s full that’ll remind you of Devendra Banhart and T-Rex and you can stream it below ahead of release and read a behind the music type track-by-track guide to the album that David West wrote especially for us/you. Groovy.
“Written in Melbourne with fellow Western Australia architectural scholar and Taco Leg/Constant Mongrel/Pappy member Andrew Murray. Liquid love coming in through the window, to be woken up by the clouds… it’s a dream.”
Cherry on Willow
“The tale of a daydreaming wanna-be rock’n’roll singer circling the dreary suburban fortress of an unattainable goddess who will surely vaporize upon conversational encounter, or not? ‘Thwack’ goes the bat as it sends the cricket ball for ‘six’ over the fences, the touch of cherry on willow. Is this how the English express their emotions?”
“Written in a rural farmhouse in Western Australia in summer on a German piano. A tribute in part to pale English rockers pretending they are country boys from the Deep South – the pleasures of fantasy. Lyrically, fairly self explanatory – “There’s joy in a morning shower / joy at the movie show / joy at the truck stop / so much joy you think you might explode.” It’s a song about joy, innit?”
Love Comes On
“Rat Columns member Louis Hooper was in NYC with his Perth punk band Zerodent, and we found a moment to jam in my practice space here. He demonstrated his ‘house beat’ to me and ‘Love Comes On’ was born. It’s a song about the impossibility of love without some form of submission, the master has a Master.”
Time to Forget
“Lou Reed’s introduction to ‘Sunday Morning’ on Live At Max’s Kansas City; “This is a song about.. oh when you’ve done something so sad and you wake up the next day and remember it. Not to sound grim or anything, but just once in a while you have one of those days.” ‘Time To Forget’ is one possible response to this kind of feeling.”
Reds for the Blues
“This song is kind of my take on a blues song format, you know, just vamping, existential angst and all that. Bob Jones plays the lead guitar, we tracked it, along with his solos on ‘Cherry On Willow’ and ‘Soft’ in a nice rehearsal room in Glasgow, right near seemingly the world’s most expansive Tesco, located in an old railway station, I believe. Perfect cat-swinging aisles full of nothing much.”
“This song has had many incarnations, you can hear a little embryonic version on my first solo record, Drop Out Of Collage. Griffin set the tone with this tippy-tappy disco beat, and Bob wafts some Nashville hayseed licks over the close. Are trace elements of hate and fear necessary to any worthwhile relationship? What is the most satisfying ratio of ‘soft’ to ‘hard’? Do country and disco really go together?”
“Underworld ferrymen, religion, boarding schools, nature…. there are systems and institutions that we must navigate through like fish through a coral reef. But do we ever really get anywhere? Sometimes the only relief is in a truly stonking beat.”
Call Me Sometime
“This is my favorite tune from this record. Like ‘Joy’, this song was also written on the piano found in my cousin’s farmhouse that he so kindly lets me stay in during the summers in Western Australia. It was recorded in Guildford, which was the original Swan River Anglo-settlement in 1829 before Perth grew into the dominant WA metropolis. I turned up to Louis Hooper’s Guildford rehearsal space after my country stay and lo and behold he had acquired a piano, and we tracked ‘Call Me Sometime’ in a couple of hours. I believe it was the first time he had ever played a shuffle beat… a real wunderkind! Another wunderkind, Mikey Young added the beautiful woogly synth solos while we were mixing the record in Victoria. This song is just a transmission over the spiritual wire from one lonely soul to another.”