Eli Litwin is a Philadelphia-based musician and teacher. He recently released The World Now, the first solo album under his own name, in which he performed all instruments and vocals. An ambitious and succinct album, it is the most personal and eclectic music Litwin has ever created. But music like this could not just come out of nowhere. Litwin has been forging a unique musical path throughout his entire adult life, performing, touring, writing, and recording with a wide variety of boundary-pushing musical projects.
Eli had this to say about the album:
“This is the most personal album I’ve ever made. Besides a handful of songs not intended for public release, this is the first time I’ve been the lyricist and vocalist for any project. It was a necessary and cathartic experience to go through the process of writing and singing/screaming the lyrics. And my lyrics came out quite blunt, with minimal poetic masking, so you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about and how I’m feeling. Most (hopefully all) of you will relate to these feelings. More than any other music I’ve ever made, I HAD to make this album. I needed to work through, express, process, and feel all of the intense thoughts about the world now, to not be suffocated by how overwhelming it all is.”
When you look at the huge amount of projects Eli Litwin has been involved in (John Frum, Intensus, Normal Love, Inzinzac, Deveykus, Knife the Glitter) it’s almost not a surprise just how eclectic The World Now is. It’s pretty clear the man has imagination and creativity because that is exactly what The World Now is, a highly creative album.
It might only be five tracks long but man, does it deliver oddball wonder. Compelling oddball wonder with many a head-scratching turn or two.
Beginning with Stay, there is an immediate layer of fuzzed out effects alongside an off-kilter drum beat. The electronically-coated vocals ring out as the track begins to transform into a sci-fi nightmare. It pulls back from fully realising that in favour of a strip of dark melody that pushes hard at the mental faculties.
Leave this Land comes next and is a real step up musically. A fair amount of extra aggression in the vocals alongside clean singing and the feeling that its going to break at anytime. When it does, it’s intense but so disjointed it’s hard to get a proper hold of it. It’s so inventive that all you can do is sit back and marvel.
That’s not so much the case with the drum and bass effects of Rising Tides. This one doesn’t really appeal even with shouted vocals across a lot of it. The heavy synthesised clean vocal sections are really unlikable. It’s different but even the introduction of guitars can’t pull this one back from mediocrity.
Unholy has to work that little bit harder to pull you back in and it does an admirable job. The drum beat leads, getting the foot tapping before it takes on a bit more of an intense form. Again, it’s so unusual you’re going to have to listen to it several times just to fully grasp what is going on.
Finally, the madness comes to a close with the longest track of the album, Loathsome. A melodic start with soaring vocals erupts into the heaviest slamming of instruments heard so far on the record. Unsurprisingly it’s not the only unexpected turn from this track as the electronics step up and make sure you’re not sitting comfortably in any way.
There will be just as many people who will call this album a mess as there will be who call it the work of a musical genius. It is messy but Eli Litwin’s creativity can’t be denied, it just takes a couple of listens to really appreciate.
Eil Litwin – The World Now Full Track Listing:
2. Leave this Land
3. Rising Tides
Eli Litwin - The World Now (Self Released)
The Final Score - 7/10