“We’re not so different anymore,” Jimmy Whispers proclaims on the title track of his long-awaited sophomore album, The Search for God. A lot has changed for everyone in the past few years, and especially for Jimmy. In another lifetime, he was that sweet kid from Chicago who stole our hearts with his aw-shucks Midwestern attitude and his knack for writing catchy old-time melodies, who legendary critic Jessica Hopper once called the city’s “greatest new homegrown musical enigma,” who turned a mixtape of iPhone voice memos (Summer in Pain) into a profound racket and covered the city in cryptic anti-police street art and zines. If you caught a glimpse, it was exciting, but it was just a warm-up to his second act.
As for today, Jimmy Whispers is alive and well in Los Angeles. He’s still making music—quite a lot of it. He’s got a blossoming new career as a music video director and filmmaker. He’s become a co-writer for others including Drugdealer and Dent May. He’s got a side hustle as a valet parking attendant, a 1988 Buick Reatta, and a new commitment to making life-affirming art.
Jimmy has always been a dreamer, but it’s a different man who’s wearing the mantle these days. The old Jimmy was raw, whether pouring his heart into a demo or flinging himself off stage in a cathartic act of theatrical self-destruction.The new one has started to find his center and a sound that sparkles and shines, although the wild spirit that’s always animated his work still hasn’t been tamed. After embracing sobriety in 2019, and now as a filmmaker sharing the stories of lesser known Los Angeles community members, he’s brought his dreaming down to earth, while turning its direction even further out.
His new album, The Search for God, out June 9th, 2023 on Carpark Records, is full of real-life problems: confusion, self-harm, police helicopters hovering overhead. But it also abounds with faith that there’s something much bigger that can release us all from the struggles that we’re facing, that we can reach it if we work enough and believe enough. Jimmy calls it “God”; you might call it “Love” or “Peace” or “A Place In the Universe That Makes Some Kind of Sense.” At 10 songs delivered in a brief 15 minutes, The Search for God is an unshakably catchy wake-up call to engage with a troubled world that’s still worth saving. For a minute or two at a time, Jimmy’s music cracks open a space where the divine can enter our lives. The utopia we’ve all been dreaming of is already here if we’re just willing to build it. Jimmy Whispers is there, ready to add his voice, whenever we want to reach out.