John Weinland, the predecessor to WEINLAND, self-released Demersville in 2006 on a fictitious record label called Woodphone Records. Woodphone Records is named for this rouse.
This album is comprised primarily of songs written between 2001 and 2005, several of which were intended to be part of a never to be released independent film soundtrack. The songs are deeply personal and cover a broad range of emotional topics including the dissolution of friendships, coming of age, unrequited love, breakups, death, and moving away from friends and family.
“Adam Shearer, the lead singer of the band John Weinland, is one of the strongest young songwriters in this city. An acoustic strummer, Shearer is, in his whispered lyricism and his gift for imagery, an heir to Elliott Smith. He also shares that late songwriter’s obsession with distance and an unattainable peace of mind, as heard on John Weinland’s first official release, Demersville (self-released). But there is also a great divide between the songwriters. Here among the country-tinged arrangements and patient instrumental interludes, Shearer has managed to interweave his sad songs with something that rarely occurs in Smith’s compositions: hope.” Willamette Week
“Demersville, which quickly proved to be an amazing & intimate collection of hauntingly beautiful folk lullabies—the kind that are so good they give you goose bumps.” The Portland Mercury
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- Piles of Clothes
- The Loaded Gun
- The Letters
- Young and Smart
- Other Folks
- In Which Case
- Scene 30
- Whatever It Matters
- From a Town You Left
“Ghosts roam freely on “Demersville,” the long-awaited album by local band John Weinland. Most of the time they appear as the specter of expired relationships, although the record’s quiet jewel, “Other Folks,” is actually a gentle and tender missive to a departed lover.
These are songs that are truly haunting in their beauty — full of melancholy nostalgia and delivered in lovely, sepia-toned folk-pop snapshots.
Singer Adam Shearer has the kind of breathy vocals and songwriting skills that have earned comparisons to Neil Young, Elliott Smith and Nick Drake. Those names get bandied about a lot, but in this case the name-checking is merited. “Demersville” is a rare bird — an album that announces itself as a classic from beginning to end.
Piano, strings, pedal steel, dobro, mouth harp and some very lovely harmonies give the songs a dusty, dusky atmosphere that accentuates the bittersweet feeling of losing something that’s been dear.
“Just because some things end, it doesn’t mean you’re not the world to me. Will I know you again?” Shearer sings in “The Loaded Gun.” In “Other Folks,” he reassures his departed that “I still don’t feel alone. I can feel your breath on the back of my neck, like a whisper from home.”
Like the letters and photographs from former friends and lovers that litter the songs, Shearer seems to want to reassure us that those people never truly disappear. While their presence may be transitory, the effects are long-lasting — and so are the songs on “Demersville.” ” The Portland Tribune