Great Square’s debut release is a triumph for experimental folk music, and a triumph for emotional vulnerability.
It’s a good thing to feel vulnerable sometimes – that’s what ‘Lvl Me’ brings to mind. From John Wilhelm’s (the sole individual behind Great Square) emotively high, stylistically trembling vocals to the near-inaudible chit-chat of crickets that backdrop the track, we’re reminded of a time when we felt rather lonesome. John says that he wrote this track to tap into ‘the feeling of being alone in a relationship for the second consecutive time,’ and the correlative fear that perhaps it could be a pattern. Indeed, it’s tracks like this that provide catharsis and satisfaction with our own emotional vulnerability – why ‘Lvl Me’ is so essential.
The most remarkable thing about this track is its atmosphere. Listen to it a few times over, and you’ll pick out more and more miscellaneous details that collectively make for such an emotive success; the aforementioned nattering crickets, wind chimes that waver between breeze-blown and rhythmic, and the buzzing of a faulty light bulb. All of which are blanketed with a warm, reverbed guitar tone and an occasional non-intrusive thrumming bassline.
John Wilhelm is a veteran songwriter and producer, having over 15 years of experience under his belt – and with ‘Lvl Me’, his attention to detail demonstrates this. If you’re local to Texas then you may have seen John perform in various bands over the past decade, but Great Square is a totally new (and intriguing) project.