Updated: Dec 8, 2019
"Wither": Frank Ocean
Production: Wendi Morris
‘And both our hands our filthy/pointed up at the moon/but tonight I’ll hold you close/close enough to bruise’
Wither is more prayer than it is song. Everything from the soft guitar riffs, the layered reverb to the way Frank pushes his voice to the limit never ceases to bring me to tears. The short track describes the narrator imagining a future for themselves and their partner to create a life for their children in a place that is scorched in trauma. It is a song that has no right to be joyous and yet it is. It leaves you feeling as if the prayer has been answered, as if you are listening to an echo of a promise kept.
In one of Frank’s seldom public interviews he once described his songs as stories. None are perhaps more beautiful and uplifting than the one he shares in Wither.