TORN – Whitney Ballen – Falls CD Release

Whitney Ballen - FallsI recently received, as I often do, an invite to a show by an artist unknown to me. In this case, it was Whitey Ballen who hails from the east side of Lake Washington, over in Redmond I believe. From what I gathered, she’s a singer/songwriter, and after receiving the Facebook event notification for her CD release show, I clicked though, scrolled down, pondered it for a moment. Getting as many of these as I do, I wasn’t sure how excited I was, and it seems there are so many doing the singer/songwriter thing that I nearly clicked away and forgot all about it.

Thankfully I did not.

Instead, I scrolled all the way down where I found this.

I love the simplicity of this song, the softness, even of the distorted guitar. It was quite unexpected, quite intriguing. Perhaps, it’s a little on the melancholy side of things, but I’ve always leaned toward that kind of music and literature, and now I have that phrase, “I am torn over you,” in my head, with the slowly strummed chords, the ride on the cymbals, the drawn out pulse of it, “I am naked and cold.” It has me thinking about times where I sat alone in a darkened apartment, drink in hand, replaying such songs over and over as I looked out the window at Fremont and the Olympic mountains beyond the Sound. The fading sustain at the end trails off, and that’s what I do. I hit repeat.

Ballen will be playing a show at Heartland (see link below) on Saturday to celebrate the release of Falls, an album inspired by life here in the Pacific Northwest. If “Torn” is any indication, it stands to be a great album. Sadly, chances of me making the show are about 50/50, but either way, I’ll be picking up the CD.

Falls CD Release at Heartland – 8:00 Saturday, March 22


Dave O’Leary is a writer and musician living in Seattle. The Music Book, his second novel, was published by Booktrope in September 2014. In addition to writing for Northwest Music Scene, he has also had work published in The Monarch Review and on Visit his website at Photo by Stacy Albright,

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