Wednesday April 1st – 7:30pm to 11pm
“I could end it all, just a shift of body weight, sun rising as I fall from the top of the Golden Gate.” – ‘Body Weight’, White Tail Falls
New York City is a bad place to be when your world falls apart. When you wake up to another three-day hangover and remember your girlfriend left you, your therapist has done all they can and the songwriting life you always dreamed of has become a spirit-crushing grind, chasing major album writing credits as if your talent isn’t your own anymore.
It’s moments like these that make or break lives. Some shift towards the sheer drop into dark water, others pivot onto more positive paths. Luckily, when Irwin Sparkes found himself right here in 2016, he picked up a guitar and wrote the fragile, exquisite, life-affirming ‘Body Weight’, a broken angel’s swoon of a song about the threads that life hangs from and how easily they snap – with a tip over the edge, a turn of a steering wheel. And just like that, his own turned brighter.
For eighteen months, the White Tail Falls project gathered dust. Then, towards the end of 2017, another six-month burst of song-writing gave him a second batch of songs, this time less wounded, more reflective, about “where I found myself afterwards, and where I was heading.” The haunting ‘Disintegrate’ tackled the thorny topic of procreation – to help bolster what might be humanity’s last few generations or to frolic in the face of extinction as proud end-points of our bloodlines? “I wanted life to just be about me and I always put off having children,” Irwin – now a father of one – says.
Irwin didn’t even realise that he’d given the album, the chronological diary of his step back from the edge, a redemptive ending. He wrote the sumptuous ‘Only Getting Easier’ from the first-hand experience of someone trapped in a cycle of habitual wrong-doing (“time kills the sting of doing the wrong thing/It’s only getting easier to make the worst decision of your life”) but barely realised it opened with a pertinent Note To Self: “it was hard in the beginning, you thought the world would end, you did a little breaking and now you simply bend.”
At the end of the journey, Age Of Entitlement emerges as one of the most life-affirming, honest, empathetic and heart-stopping records you’ll hear this year – a record which will make you cry like a baby and remind you of the power of music. A record to imperceptibly pivot lives to the positive, not least Irwin’s. “It’s blown music open for me again and I’m just loving diving in,” he says. “Making this album has changed my life. It’s forced me to confront what I’m made of. I still don’t know how I feel about that.”