Béret is the songwriting vehicle of Seattle-based audio engineer Ian Kurtis Crist. The solo artist is set to release their third LP on October 18 via Born Yesterday Records, and it’s shaping up to be a doozy. We’ve already heard the vulnerably introspective “Fade Out the World” and the cathartic, Greco-reflecting “Book of Hera,” but Béret’s latest single is their best yet. “White Hole” is a cutting punk number that meditates on the artist’s self-contained experience with delusional anguish and imminent recovery: “I’m sturdy like halos/made of concrete,” Crist begins, proclaiming the need for “a jumping off point/To bring me on my knees/In this white hole.” The image is personal but transcendent, as Crist voluntarily crosses the threshold of mental enlightenment through sweeping self-reflection.
Béret tackles songwriting on a three dimensional plane. The musician’s knack for arrangement and production give Crist the ability to quickly alter a track’s tone. It happens twice on “White Hole” with stunning efficiency. Muffled spoken words greet a shift in the atmosphere. Guitars soften and obscure as mantric vocals cut clean through sheets of a hazy six-string backdrop. The moment is cathartic as hell. It feels like the musical version of Piaget’s theory, a clever trick Crist plays on listeners by replacing, reinterpreting and repurposing. Jesus White is loosely conceptual and “White Hole” is its breaking point; two perspectives from one source, a self-propelled revival.
From Jesus White, out October 18 via Born Yesterday