As R WE WHO R WE, Philip White and Ted Hearne combine to create music that marries beauty and brutality. Their songs are hollowed-out standards filled with noise, or brash and temporary constructions infused with moments of arresting warmth. Their first album (eponymous) was called “weirdly danceable” and “utterly gripping” by Time Out Chicago.
Both acclaimed composer/performers in their own right, Philip White and Ted Hearne each bring a unique and irreplaceable voice to R WE. White plays a self-constructed and ever-evolving instrument made of both repurposed analog electronics and state of the art digital controlling devices, harnessing no-input feedback into a mystifying array of luscious sonic landscapes and hard driving dance beats, which the Wall Street Journal called a “vibrant textural tapestry” and the Village Voice called “annihilating and enervating.” Hearne, a singer with a massive range of styles and registers (“a vocal hellion,” Time Out Chicago, “fresh and muscular music,” The New York Times), brings an expressive intensity to his performances, embodying a landscape of emotions and vocal color, from the stripped-down human to the ecstatically digitally processed.
R WE’s second album, Just, is a collection of songs about arson, compulsive drug use, self loathing, aggression and other trappings of a collapsed middle class struggling under the effects of intergenerational toxic masculinity. Nine songs fuse a ballad driven sense of lyricism with a noise-music sonic palette, in a sense both violent and pathetic. It’s a cold view from the inside of a burning house.