David West has been active in the shifting sands of underground pop for over a decade. Not dissimilar to the main character in Star Wars, his musical career began in a backwater desert village, in this case, Perth, before he migrated to more glittering metropolises like San Francisco and Melbourne, and finally landing in his current home of New York. He presently plays in the contemporary outfits Rat Columns, Rank/Xerox and Liberation. In the past he has participated in such groups as Lace Curtain, Burning Sensation and Total Control.
DW began releasing eponymous platters in 2015 with the Night People/Happy Endin’ full-length cassette Drop Out Of Collage. This was followed in 2016 by the Peace Or Love LP which featured the radio semi-hit “Dream On Dreamer”. DW’s move into the “own-name” category of artists came as his other bands began to develop defined identities. He felt that recording under his own name would be an excellent umbrella for both roving experimentation and a more frivolous, post-modern style of pop music that would not fit in the frameworks of his other projects. Also, after crafting band names for over a decade, it was just time.
Cherry On Willow is DW’s audio pop vision for 2017. It differs from the last two DW releases by introducing a more collaborative framework, creating the backing group Teardrops – an open ensemble of friends and collaborators, including Bob Jones of Eaters, Louis Hooper of Rat Columns, Mikey Young of Total Control and Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Raven Mahon of Grass Widow, dynamite drummer Griffin Harrison and other supremely talented individuals from the past and future. The recordings were quite live and spontaneous, hoping to catch some of the magic involved in speed and improvisation, harvesting creative sparks from his musical colleagues and himself.
The album was recorded in various places in the latter half of 2016 – by DW in his practice space in New York City; in a rental rehearsal room in Glasgow; and a garage studio in Guildford, Western Australia, where Rat Columns’ recent LP Candle Power was also recorded. The record was mixed by Mikey Young and DW in Young’s seaside studio in Victoria in the first days of 2017, and mastered by the ever reliable Joe Carra at Crystal Mastering in Melbourne. The cover photograph was taken in Perth by the Western Australian photographer Traianos Pakioufakis. The graphic design for the record was done by the talented NYC designer Daniel Wagner, well known in the DIY art publishing world for being one-third of the zine/publishing powerhouse Kingsboro Press.
Cherry On Willow was recorded quickly and with a “first thought best thought” philosophy, to capture an old-school pop feeling, with rough edges intact, human movements tracked and uncut. Swiping liberally from various strains of underground pop, glam, rock’n’roll, synth-pop and disco, Cherry On Willow wants to be a thing that swings, the chewing gum stuck between love and loss, born under ever shining stars…so, as DW sings on this record: “let’s paint it blue”…let’s make it real, let’s be a little bit careless, let’s let it all hang out, just a little bit…OK?