album of the week: You're A Shooting Star, I'm A Sinking Ship - Whitney Ballen
Any measure of heartbreak can leave you feeling isolated. The feelings of sadness, the process of picking up the pieces, and the idea of ever feeling whole again often makes it seem as if you're the only one to ever go through this — as if you'll never be normal again. On You're A Shooting Star, I'm A Sinking Ship, Whitney Ballen provides a devastatingly gorgeous measure of comfort for those left searching through that darkness. With off-kilter whispered vocals that teeter between barely heard to empowering anguish, Ballen sinks to the bottom and rises again, her own act of drowning serving as a lifeline for those listening.
From the nearly two minutes of chaotic noise and confession that compromise "Nothing" to the beautiful sadness, and heart-wrenching honesty that comes with imaging the one you used to have with someone else ("Fucking"), Ballen leaves nothing off-limits. Whether contemplating former feelings that arose during "difference circumstances," on the lofty, soft rush of acoustics on "San Francisco," or sharing honeyed whispers of feeling misunderstood against a shuffling heartbeat of percussion and moody, pensive strings on the album's title track, Ballen boldly faces her past, and bravely shares it with all of us.
Amidst all that struggle and feeling, Ballen leaves us with a reminder to be thankful. Our worst moments may not turn out like we intend and our heart may end up torn, but as she sings on "Moon," even the stars and galaxies that dot the sky above are a reminder to remain appreciative; and even the one who broke your heart left you with a lesson in "how to love somebody when you're not capable of loving nobody." That person or that memory might have been "everything,"at one time as Ballen sings on "Beyond Years," but sometimes things slip away, and as she sings, we're left only to move forward, to "dream" again.
You're A Shooting Star, I'm A Sinking Ship is a necessary journey through our most tumultuous emotions. Experience it for yourself below: