Spotlight: WMD

Photo by Keegan Townsend

Michael Erickson is an electronic artist from Seattle, Washington, and under the name WMD he has made an extensive amount of experimental, chip-tune, and chill-step albums. WMD caught my attention for his dense discography, but more so for the consistency between each release. Each album serves as an experiment leading to the ever-growing talents of Erickson, but all present intriguing songs throughout. WMD has grown to be a favorite of mine, and I wanted to present his music to our readers and fans of electronic music alike. 

WMD’s Bandcamp features over 20 releases, and with other singles and remixes spread across his other social media outlets, it would be a daunting task for anyone to begin listening to his discography. Luckily, I collaborated with Erickson, and we compiled a list of what our favorite WMD albums are. Below we list what our favorite releases are and why they stuck out to us, as well as our favorite tracks from the album. If you like what you hear, be sure to follow WMD and look out for new music in the future.

Limerence (2016)

Evan: Limerence is “the state of being infatuated or obsessed with another person, typically experienced involuntarily and characterized by a strong desire for reciprocation of one’s feelings but not primarily for a sexual relationship” as defined by Google, and its powerful title alone resonates within the adventurous tale it tells. This album is about vulnerability, uncertainty, blind faith, and above all, lament. This album is a window to the past, and peering through we experience what it feels like to fall in love with someone, the bliss of time together, and the sorrow of time lost.

Beyond the gigantic emotional weight this album carries, it is also the most polished and complete sound WMD has achieved thus far. Limerence works as a cohesive whole, especially when you make your way to the closing track “Serein”, a 12-minute epic showing Erickson’s capability for a strong, moving atmosphere. This is a must listen electronic album from 2016, and hopefully we’ll be getting more great releases from WMD in the near future.

Hiraeth (2015)

WMD: Hiraeth is by far my favorite album of mine that’s not on Spotify. I think the title track is one of my best, and it’s always a lot of fun to play live. My main inspiration for this album was my memory of staying at a beach house when I was younger, and I think the tracks “Kokedera” and “Firewood” are where that inspiration shows the most.

Wilt (2015)

WMD: What makes Wilt one of my best albums is how delicate it sounds. I was writing it during my last Christmas at home before moving to college, and I think a lot of that latent melancholy and sadness comes through in the music. I also included a cover of one of my old favorite chiptune songs, partly because it’s still great, and also because I like to revisit what got me into music every once and a while.

Sophrosyne (2013)

Evan: Sophrosyne, while hard to attain, is a good aspiration for someone suffering from any kind of emotional pain. This album is brutally honest and extremely personal, and purposely done so with song titles like “I lost a friend”, “A downpour spent inside under a blanket / always with you”, and “I wrote this on my birthday”. This album is perhaps the deepest and most depressing cut from WMD’s discography, but the songs have a lot more of an impact because of it.

The closing songs, titled “You love someone else”, “Sophie”, and “We had something” encapsulate the wealth and brevity of losing everything, and hopefully they provide us with the catharsis to get some of it back. Sophrosyne is a long, experimental pursuit, but the songs that stand out are truly some of the best that WMD has ever crafted.

Songs About Ruby (2013)

WMD: I wrote Songs About Ruby entirely during a family road trip through the Southwest U.S. A lot of what makes this one of my favorite releases is just how different it was to work on compared to my other stuff. This was the first time I sat down and actively used my surroundings for inspiration rather than recalling them from memory. It definitely changed how I write music.

WMD Online: Facebook || Bandcamp || Soundcloud || Spotify
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