Wentworth Kersey, comprised of Colorado musicians Joe Kersey Sampson and Jeffery Wentworth Stevens, provide an ideal soundtrack to the disintegration of the American Dream. The music on their EP O is the sound of dreams deferred and lessons learned. Acoustic guitar, electronic atmospherics, and world-weary vocals create a certain windswept beauty that meshes well with these downtrodden economic times.
From the waltzing opener “Breakdown” to the sparse closer “Impressed”, the duo alternately sound resigned, melancholic, accusatory, and hopeful. On “Riot”, Sampson proclaims he’s “Too bored to fight / Too old to riot”, the kind of mature realization that hits after the battles of youth fade into history. This is a welcome, sober perspective that consistently mirrors the understated instrumentation throughout the EP. The backing electronics from Stevens never threaten to overwhelm Sampson’s clear vocals and concise arrangements—an achievement of restraint that push these folk songs into transcendent territory. The tracks here wash in and recede before staying too long, adding to the EP’s ephemeral, mysterious nature. This eminently listenable release provides a compelling reason to anticipate two follow-up EPs promised in 2009.