TUNES // Whispertown – Born To Ride

Post by Misha

The first time I heard Whispertown was on a Paste Magazine Sampler CD circa 2008. This was when Paste was a physical magazine, and every month when I’d get a new issue I’d rip the CD onto the old PC in my room and manually enter track and artist names from the disk’s cardboard sleeve, then I’d sync them onto my 4th gen iPod.

This one track kept catching my ear from that month’s sampler, on my way to school, between classes, driving to see my high school boyfriend, a song called “Old Times” by The Whispertown 2000.

It was the fall of my senior year of high school. I would turn 18 in a few months, at a party in an old single wide trailer on the edge of my boyfriend’s parents’ property with enough plastic bottle Canadian whiskey to give everyone in attendance alcohol poisoning several times over, on a night so cold that if I left the carnival chaos of the party for a minute the air could slow me down to a speed where everything almost made sense. Almost.

I was deciding what to do next. After that night, high school, and the only place and the only friends that had ever been mine. I kept listening to this song, and Morgan Nagler’s voice singing the opening line, “Everything’s in bags, I’m ready to go. I’m not trying to move fast, but I can’t stay slow.” I liked how she sounded more resigned than sad, and how the tune was rich with the small town twang I had grown up with, but mixed in with something different, exciting.

“Nothin’s gonna get me like the old times”


Almost exactly a decade later I’d nearly forgotten about that song entirely – until I came across a Whispertown cassette at the Graveface Records booth at the Pitchfork Festival in Chicago, where I was visiting on vacation from my now-home-base of Los Angeles (coincidentally also where Whispertown call home). I saw the tape and remembered that year before I moved out, being so scared to figure out what would happen next, being very sure that whatever it was would always be just a little bit disappointing.

But of course, it wasn’t (at least not most of it) and though it is true that nothing quite gets me like the old times, that no longer means what I thought it would back when I was 17.

Today I’m much more drawn to the mystery of the ride.

Buy Whispertown‘s newest album, I’m A Man, here


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