Emile Westergaard
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"Emile Westergaard - Necessary Rain"

Reviews: Emile Westergaard ~ Necessary Rain
Posted on Saturday, April 02, 2005 @ 07:17:30 EST
Topic: Reviews

Artist: Emile Westergaard

CD: Necessary Rain

Home: New York City

Style: Singer/Songwriter

Quote: "He sets a table rich with versatility and precise instrumentation, this elementary school teacher turned Wall Street businessman, a regular Renaissance Man."

By Kevan Breitinger

Emile Westergaard’s promo material piques my interest immediately with the news that his debut CD, Necessary Rain, tells “the fascinating life story of one of the most successful financial brains on Wall Street.” Now that’s a project that doesn’t show up in your mailbox every day. A bold move, too, considering the healthy skepticism that such an announcement provokes. But Necessary Rain is up to the test. It’s a work as unique as its promo and probably not for everyone, but it does fulfill its promise of intrigue.

The thing I like about this spare, subtle music is the way his minimalist approach invites your own involvement as a listener. He’s not spelling out the meaning of every lyric or even every note, so you have to enter into his process. He sets a mood and invites you in to serve yourself, a musical maitre de of sorts.

The soft acoustic opener “C’ela” paints images of loneliness and disappointment, the strings and gentle trumpet implying more than you actually hear. Westergaard’s spoken monologue adds further details but it is unnecessary; his instruments have already told the full tale.

The title cut continues this interesting approach, and repeated listenings offer up more subtleties each time, from the gentle brush work to the understated trumpet. A college girlfriend turned him onto Appolinaire’s Mirabelle Bridge twenty years ago, and the delicate “Mirabelle” is the fruit of that exposure, a dreamy tune presented immaculately with harmonies worthy of Simon & Garfunkel, accordion trills filling it flawlessly. The accordion is an instrument that should only be used by master arrangers; the only way to handle it is exactly and judiciously. Westergaard is accordion-worthy, no worries.

Some of his vocals are slightly strained, as in “Don’t Make Yourself a Stranger,” but his other strengths cover. The standout track has to be the up-tempo “Out of You," popping with a slight salsa groove, the sparkling Alison Breitman’s lush tones meshing perfectly with Westergaard’s vulnerability. He sets a table rich with versatility and precise instrumentation, this elementary school teacher turned Wall Street businessman, a regular Renaissance Man. Special props to Tzafrir “TZ” Lightenstein’s pristine production values. This is quite an addition to Westergaard’s portfolio.

Buy CD http://www.emilewestergaard.com - Indie-Music.com


"Emile Westergaard, Necessary Rain"

As an artist, finding your voice is a critical step on the path to true self expression. Some people draw from their core from their very first breath. For others it takes years. For Emile Westergaard it took nearly two decades to commit his songs to a fully realized, finished recording.

Emile began composing the songs on his 2005 release, Necessary Rain, when he was holed up in an east coast boarding school. His girlfriend at the time turned him onto a translation of Appolinaire's early twentieth century poem, "Mirabelle Bridge." Twenty years later a delicate tune inspired by the poem surfaces along with six other dreamy songs on this stunning EP.

Since the time when Emile wrote this song he has worked as an elementary school teacher and a Wall Street businessman. He also studied child development in Italy, started a family and pursued other interests. These diverse experiences inform and shape the colors of these songs. With the help of some fabulous musicians and producer Tzafrir "TZ' Lichtenstein, Emile's subtle voice weaves through rich tapestries of sound painted with horns, cellos, guitar, upright bass and drums.

The disc opens with "C'ela," a cathartic track that details the difficult end of a love relationship. With a sweet sadness and emotive melody line, this song sets the bittersweet tone of much of the disc.

But some songs here pick up the tempo. "Out of You" features vocalist Alison Brietman trading lines through this laid back bop groove. With plenty of guitar riffin' and kicked back horn blasts this song shows another side of this versatile artist.

The production, vocals and instrumental work on this disc are extraordinary. From the outstanding fingerpicking that opens "Mirabelle Bridge" to the vulnerable vocal lines and string movements on "Don't Make Yourself a Stranger" Emile and company create a world that is at once delicate, beautiful and sacred.

It may have taken twenty years to come to fruition but the songs on Necessary Rain are worth the wait. With a vulnerable musical intelligence, pristine musicianship and a poignant lyrical expression, Emile's music has finally found its destiny.


- IndieMusicReview


Discography

Necessary Rain - EP

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Emile Westergaard’s life journey is the stuff movies about a Renaissance man are made of: A music lover from an early age, he begins writing songs at boarding school. He hones his skills as an artist by playing clubs while attending university in Chicago; pays the bills as an elementary school teacher upon graduation. He decides to expand his horizons by studying abroad for a few years, then switches gears and builds a decade-long career as a Wall Street mogul. Now, with his recently released debut album Necessary Rain, Westergaard is evolving to another level as a recording and performing artist.

Westergaard’s blossoming musical career had an interesting, if austere start: Emile accepted an audacious challenge from his sister to the take the stage and perform at an open-mike night at New York’s The Stinger Club. A regular gig at the Stinger club evolved from that dare, and now Westergaard is performing at other notable NYC clubs such as The Cutting Room, The Bitter End, & The Living-Room.

Necessary Rain is a complex and breathtaking record that has the potential to capture the hearts & minds of today’s sophisticated adult music audience. The songs run the range of emotions from the Hauntlingly beautiful “C’ela” to the upbeat and bouncy “Out of You”. A review on www.IndieMusicReview.com describes Westergaard’s debut:

“… (a) stunning EP … Emile's subtle voice weaves through rich tapestries of sound painted with horns, cellos, guitar, upright bass and drums … The production, vocals and instrumental work on this disc are extraordinary. From the outstanding finger picking that opens 'Mirabelle Bridge' to the vulnerable vocal lines and string movements on 'Don't Make Yourself a Stranger,' Emile and company create a world that is at once delicate, beautiful and sacred.”

Emile is an extremely successful businessman and highly regarded by his Wall Street peers as a master hedge fund manager. Now Westergaard is leveraging his professional accomplishments to pursue artistic ones: His A Star Productions serves as the vehicle for producing and distributing Necessary Rain and future albums by the artist. A growing & loyal online fanbase is evolving for Westergaard, thanks to his stylish web layout @ www.emilewestergaard.com . Emile will be offering fans live recordings, studio outtakes, and digital video of live performances on an ongoing basis as incentives to keep fans engaged - as his path along the journey to self-expression continues.