Denison Witmer – Philadelphia Songs – Review

Denison Witmer

Philadelphia Songs (Burnt Toast Vinyl)
by Tim Den

This album climbed up my personal favorites chart stealthily, before I had the chance to realize how much I really loved it. Then it hit me: “Stations” was on my lips every time I went to bed and every morning when I awoke. And I swear, it was the soundtrack to my dreams as well, cuz all of a sudden I knew all the words. An acoustic guitar, some somber reflections on traveling and hometowns, and a sense of road weariness that only those of us road hogs can appreciate… and a classic song is etched into my subconscious. But “Stations” isn’t the only one: “Chestnut Hill” carries with it an airy vibe of loneliness, drifting atop a minimal pulse and driven by heart-melting crooning… while album highlight “I Won’t Let You Know” rips your chest out altogether with the most affective vocal melody this side of Nick Drake. Philadelphia Songs has become not just the soundtrack to my dreams, but a dictator of my days as well.

Some erroneously categorize Denison Witmer‘s music as nothing but open letters to ex-girlfriends. What they fail to observe is the overall humanity captured in lines like “All the people and places I’ve been through/and when you find out they’re the same thing/as the people and places where you grew.” Philadelphia Songs is a collection of serene, reflective, delicate commentaries on heartbreak and living life. It has turned my winter into a slide show of Americana images, and I’m sure it’ll change your season too.
(PO Box 42188 Philadelphia, PA 19101)