Thom Kunz & Joan Childress Wilkerson’s new album Accidental Crashes invites the listener on a journey, where lush, electronic textures meet unapologetic confessional narratives about love and violence.
Opening with quiet rain, an ambulance looming in the distance, the snap of a cassette loading into a deck—a voyeuristic experience is introduced to the listener, who is virtually eavesdropping on someone piecing together the story of two destructive lovers from a series of abandoned, weathered cassettes.
Wilkerson is a singer who slips into character and inhabits these stories: a gritty aggressor on songs such as “Contempt” and “Wastelands”, alongside quiet, broken and vulnerable moments on “Out Loud”, “MichAgain”, “Turn Back” and “More”.
Kunz’s layered instrumentation creates a dark, noir-esque landscape reminiscent of early Bowie and Pink Floyd, fused with modern sense of detail. The music speaks loudest, from the sweeping peaks in the politically charged “A Place for Odds and Evens” to the ominously seductive “Second Nature.”
While the songs stand on their own, the work as a whole operates with a bigger, bolder agenda, unique in its storytelling.