Crywolf Delivers Top-Notch Storytelling With "Windswept"

A beautiful follow-up to "Quantum Immortality"

Photo by Ezra Spurrier

The best songs are the ones that kick traditions to the curb and walk to the beat of their own drum. Justin Taylor Phillips, aka Crywolf, has built a career out of this. His music isn't just lush electronic compositions—they're cinematic listening experiences. "Ever since I heard [Queen's] 'Bohemian Rhapsody' as a kid," he tells us, "I’ve loved music that abandons typical verse/chorus structures in favor of movements—like the modern equivalent of a symphony." 

"Windswept" is Phillips' latest symphony. The six-minute listening experience challenges today's listener whose grown accustom to the three-to-four minute formula. But, unlike other songs that clock in with a similar time, you don't notice time's passing here. From the a capella swell of Phillips' layered falsetto, which fans of Bon Iver's "Woods" will find comfort in, a narrative entropy unfolds through various chapters, or "acts" as Phillips calls them. "It ebbs and flows like a dream," he says, "chronicling the slow dissolution of something which once was strong." All the while, he soars in the rafters with a falsetto so strong and simultaneously susceptible you feel it in your bones. "It’s a really vulnerable song for me, and I second guessed my choice to put it out multiple times, but what is an artist without honesty? Feeling vulnerable is part of the craft I have chosen, and I wouldn’t have it any other way." 

Well, three cheers for courage because this song deserves to be heard.