Whitney Ballen‘s upcoming debut album “You’re A Shooting Star, I’m A Sinking Ship” is out August 24 on Father Daughter Records/Substitute Scene.
Seattle’s Whitney Ballen follows up last month’s “Go” with new track “Rainier,” cementing the status of her upcoming debut album as one of the most highly anticipated of the year. “Rainier,” a sweetly heart-wrenching account of a love lost sees Ballen harness the wistful, intuitive spirit of Joanna Newsom and late-night confessional charm of Soccer Mommy, while creating a space that’s undoubtedly her own: “Trying my best not to call you / I wanna tell you ‘bout my coffee / I wanna send you pictures of Mt. Rainier.” Over simple, building guitar strums, Ballen takes us through the stages of missing someone, documenting the crushing realisation that it’s the small, unremarkable things you long to share with them once they’re not around.
Tying the song to Whitney Ballen’s hometown of Seattle is her nod to Mt. Rainier. The landmark’s presence is a visual reminder of the weighted absence of a loved one, yet also a comforting constant during a time of emotional upheaval; its permanence acting as a source of hope that this, too, shall pass. This is a hope that prevails as the chorus, a tender, lovelorn cry of “I wish you were here / I’m sorry,” is Ballen’s final cathartic indulgence before moving on and letting go.
The earnest, diary-esque lyrical quality the track offers is complemented by the bedroom-like folk arrangement, giving full and deserved focus to the artist’s powerful, ethereal vocal. Much like Whitney Ballen’s prior releases, “Rainier” shows that on our hands is an artist that isn’t afraid to lay herself bare, and who will find strength in doing so.