Willis Earl Beal: “Evening’s Kiss” Live + Studio Version

Perhaps the most inviting part of the intrigue surrounding singer-songwriter Willis Earl Beal for me has been just how uninviting his first official cut feels to many upon first listen: Even if you set aside its decidedly lo-fi tone, we’re left with a tune that one could argue is a bit monotonous. It’s that deliberate, unsettling quality, though, that finally found a restless spot in these bones — like an old Robert Johnson hotel room recording or, given Beal’s visual art, Daniel Johnston. What Beal doesn’t reveal in the LP version of “Evening’s Kiss,” however, is his considerable vocal range and R&B influence. Now having witnessed him perform the tune live, it’s clear that this so-called “outsider artist” can bend this material in a number of directions, all of which were explored with an inviting stage presence to the crowd in Manchester, England over the weekend.

Get acquainted with the official video (animated by Beal himself, of course) along with solo live versions of the song and album track “Wavering Lines” below: