Review: bdRm Overcomes Adversity with Flying Colors on ‘Identité’


Identité, in the spirit of This Mortal Coil, was a very important undertaking for bdRm (Jeremy Wilkins, a Portland composer, musician, producer and all-round impresario) that spanned well over two years of work. That is clearly evident when you give a listen to these stunning twenty tracks by bdRm and many collaborators, some of whom are label mates at NMVMNT Records…names like Charlie Moses, Britt White, D, Alec Yeager, and George Lewis III, as well as several of his closest friends.

But…digging below the surface, you see a much deeper and more personal bdRm, born of a period of personal crisis and subsequent growth, a rich and organic tapestry of a man whose life blew up and then was informed by mid-life crisis and rebirth. A house cleaning from old traumas and a deep analysis of his past, these twenty tracks were given birth…an identity.

It wasn’t’ all an easy road.  bdRm at times found himself written “into a corner” and this project had its starts and stops. But still, the finished product has real cohesion, all heft with no filler. It’s a work, in four parts, that clearly shows this growth – like a culmination of his rich musical journey which includes previous work with rosewater elizabeth, underwater, Allegra Gellar, Hawks Do Not Share, We Are Parasols and production work with various artists, most notably the stunning work with Charlie Moses (Carolyn Grigar) as producer and collaborator.

Charlie Moses penned one of the most graceful pieces, “Unexpected Snow”, a deep, haunting reflection on relationship. It is one of the most beautiful tracks here, graced by her lilting voice. Here, identity is explored in the metaphor of a snow storm for a tumultuous relationship.

“She Comes In Waves II”, penned by bdRm himself, is a mantra about a relationship built in dysfunctional identity.

Lynne Piper wrote and did vocal service on several pieces that are informed by the subjects of birth, generation, and regrowth, like “The Sirens Well & Womb”, “In The Shallow”, “A Pause Between”, and “Long Drawn Breath” …all shimmering comments on the subject of identity.

There are even two covers – one of a tune by Low (“When I Go Deaf”) and the other from The Notwist (“Casino”) – for listening enjoyment, both reworked in bdRm’s unique style.

Identité is a true labor of love – a search for identity through the ethereal – brought to us by the metaphysical hippie within bdRm.  Pick it up on iTunes, bandcamp or your favorite music distributer when it’s released 26 August 2016.  I really enjoyed this journey, and I think you will, too!

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