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White Moth Black Butterfly try to paint a captivating picture of beauty with their new music video and song

Dan Tompkins White Moth Black Butterfly

White Moth Black Butterfly is the solo project from workaholic vocalist Dan Tompkins, former frontman of Tesseract and current singer for a numerous amount of bands and projects (Skyharbor and In Colour). For those unfamiliar with the sublime work of Tompkins, there’s no confusion as to why he is one of the busiest singers around – the man is an incredible talent; capable of performing impressive vocal acrobatics whilst also being a charismatic and enviable stage presence.

White Moth Black Butterfly will see Tompkins release his first ever solo album in November of this year, entitled One Thousand Wings and if this new track is anything to judge by, we’ll be in for a deliberately slow-paced introspective affair that will likely delight and alienate people in equal measure.

The new single released today is called “Certainty” and it moves with all the momentum of the word itself. It’s a song that crawls, in no real hurry to get anywhere, befitting to the name really, because it’s addressing the certainty of everything. Overall though, unless you’re a devout fan, this song is unlikely going to interest you in the project. While it is definitely pretty, it seems to be trying too hard to elevate itself beyond it’s abilities, to convince you that there is truly powerful emotions to be found there, when really it all feels too artificial and forced.

It’s a shame for me as I traditionally love anything that Tompkins lends his voice to, but ultimately I don’t feel like he’s achieving his potential here. The video is beautifully shot, but again seems to be trying to desperately reach for some semblance of depth and meaning, when really it’s just a series of well framed location shots that are strung together. It also seems to be a video that’s far too focused on how pretty Tompkins is, rather than trying to frame an actual narrative. The whole thing feels like someone is sitting there with an “Introspection 101″ checklist and ticking off various hallmarks. Overall, it’s very uninspiring.

The music is almost entirely electronic based, and doesn’t even feel particularly unique in its construction. It features guest contributions from previous collaborator Acle Kahney of Tesseract fame, as well as singers Hayley Martin of Shadowboxer, and Jordan Bethany.

Tompkins plans to take White Moth Black Butterfly on the road later this year with a touring line-up of Keshav Dhar (guitars/electronics), Chris Haywood (bass/contrabass) and Ben Ansaldo (drums). Dhar and Tompkins are of course, firm friends and are both working extremely hard on new Skyharbor material.

One Thousand Wings will be self-released later this year. If you like the single, you can pick it up from Tompkin’s Bandcamp and help support him with this endeavour. I hope that “Certainty” will fit in better as part of an overall album than as a single, but right now I’m unenthusiastic about the future prospects of this project. Here’s hoping that I’ll be converted when the final album is released.

What do you guys think? Is Quigs being too harsh? Do you agree? Are you excited to see this project take the stage? Are you just happy for new music from Tompkins? Sound off in the comments!

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