I don’t know where Western Transport starts or stops anymore. The songs are now a part of me; notes I’ve heard in their nascent form, only to watch them mature and develop into adulthood. I can still feel the texture of the first brushstroke, but have no idea how they came together as they did.
I’ve passed them to friends with a nervous heart pounding through my chest. Do you like this? Yes. No. Maybe. Circle one. All I can do is sit and wait for you to pass the folded, ripped paper back to me, waiting for your decision. Western Transport is somehow as insignificant as youth, and as monumental as a school yard crush.
James Irwin on the other hand, is a talent to which I can’t relate. His songs, both as My People Sleeping and under the exposed vulnerability of his own name, have consumed me and broken down my defenses without any detection. He moves in shadows, but without malice. His voice is little more than a whisper most times, delivered calmly, coldly, detached from the root but still blossoming. These type of words are normally written by a critic out of spite, a collection of scarlet letters that a singer must carry as he’s run from the village, but for Irwin those traits mask the intensity of loss and passion of free spirit. Western Transport is beautiful; smooth on all edges, but lyrically it’s jagged and strong enough to rip through your heart.
Today I’m writing this, trying desperately to remove any emotion from my heart and think in facts. I’d trade everything to be able top speak calmly, instead of in broken, cracked words. My dad is going under the knife to remove as much of an unwanted visitor as possible, a parasite whose only function is to remind us that karma doesn’t exist. It’s day one of a long journey, one I need him to complete at all costs, even if it’s done one painstaking, plodding step at a time until his shoes wear thin and his feet bleed. When he emerges, he won’t look the same, won’t be the same… we don’t even know if he will think the same. The only thing I know is that a year from now when I cross the finish line of a arbitrary race, I want my father standing there waiting, knowing he’s done the same in the only race that matters. We will raise a glass and shake our head knowing, “it’s been a fuck of a year.”
Buy this record. Even if it’s just a dollar. Take a stand, and let James know you are listening.
MP3:: James Irwin - Nothing at All