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Album Review

Wastelander – ‘What is Left of Me’ [Album Review]



Wastelander ‘What is Left of Me’ album artwork

Wastelander, aka Cooper Formant, just released his debut album, What is Left of Me, a 12-track collection of songs merging elements of folk and indie rock.

Lyrically, What is Left of Me is introspective, delving into topics such as lived-in romance, self-doubt, disillusionment, and awakening self-compassion. Sonically, the album meanders here, there, and everywhere, summoning up recollections of America, Christopher Cross, and The Beach Boys.

The album begins with “Get It Right,” vaguely reminiscent of America, primarily because of Formant’s smooth, velvety vocals but also because of the charming melodic flow of the melody.

Entry points include “Get Older,” another track that recalls America with its lusciously lustrous textures and low-slung, driving rhythm. Dreamy, creamy vocals imbue the lyrics with soft, almost pastel timbres. While “As You See” conjures up hints of The Beatles crossed with the Beach Boys.

The opening line of “As You See” reflects the zeitgeist of today’s world: “I still wake up on the floor the same way I did before / Until I hit my medicine, I’m not going out that door.”

A personal favorite because of its gentle, floating motion, “Broken Leg” summons up Christopher Cross with its graceful, undulating flow topped by Formant’s effortless, burnished vocals. The harmonics evoke quiet, mellow emotions, while the lyrics convey helpless sadness.

Wastelander, photo courtesy of Wastelander

Wastelander, photo courtesy of Wastelander

A further favorite because of its slow, drifting movement, “Natural Light” blends the vaguest hints of country with folk, shaping a migratory tune topped by Formant’s evocative voice. When the rhythm enters, the tempo picks up a bit, draped in a crying steel guitar.

Aesthetically pleasing and meditative, Wastelander’s inward-looking approach unearths a kind of gilded, dreamlike catharsis.

What is Left of Me Track Listing:

1. Get it Right
2. Get Older
3. Be Where
4. As You See
5. Caduceus
6. Broken Leg
7. Figure it Out
8. Natural Light
9. Room Full of Elephants
10. Never Trust A Man
11. I Just Want to Be Your Friend
12. What Is Left of Me

Run Time: 43:06
Release Date: September 29, 2023
Record Label: Independent