Premier(e): Ian Penn: “Wild Abandon”

The modest Ian Penn has got really strong things going for him: the endorsement of artisté, Lilystars Records boss, and occasional tastemaker Clem Castro (whose debut outing as Dragonfly Collector was a real motherfucker by the way); a quiet, semi-regular stint at a Makati folk dive (Boiler Room along Palanca); a seething love for old-timey folk and its canon (during a brief encounter at a show we both played we talked harmonicas: different types of neck holders, diatonic and tremolo harps, and which Hohner models were favored by Dylan and Young); and, finally, a great and unassuming advance single, “Headback Home,” a breath of fresh air if there was ever one, released in February. His new single, the release of which heralds the arrival of his debut EP of the same name, is a sign of even better things to come. The tune is called “Wild Abandon,” and in it Penn stretches out rather than flexes; kicks back rather than kicks the door in;  flails around rather than jumps right in. It is a magnificent slow-burn of a tune, and is less tied to the period angle his few listeners have pegged the Pampanga-bred musician for.

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