William Cooper Barling is a singer/songwriter/producer who combines disparate genres and fuses them seamlessly, creating something fresh, unheard, and completely distinct.
WCB creates an electrifying sound that jumps across genres with acrobatic prowess: soothing undertones, sultry vocals and enchanting melodies abound.
Hailing from Auckland, New Zealand, though now calling Sydney’s inner west home, Barling works with a soothing blend of electronica, R&B vocals and trip-hop undertones. His voice is emotional and soulful, with an unmistakable moodiness that’s nothing if not goosebump-inducing.
Control is the latest offering from Barling – who writes and produces all his materials, performing under the artistic moniker WCB – and it’s already been hailed as something of a masterpiece. The underlying metaphor of the track is that love, whilst wonderful, can also be toxic and (as its video suggests) torturous.
Dark and unnervingly sexy, the video accompanying the electrifying track can best be described as a visual art piece, perfectly capturing the context outlined in the lyrics.
The video was directed by Rebecca Coleman-Smith, and features actress and former stunt performer, Genevieve Aitken, who is known for her work in Max Max, and renowned burlesque performer Leda Petit, who’s apparently performed for Quentin Tarantino.
Centred around the idea of losing control in relationships and surrendering to love, the video establishes a clear a visual narrative, focusing on a grim, mysterious torture scene that gives away a little: an expertly-crafted ambiguity that leaves it open to interpretation.
WCB is set to deliver another single very soon. And with a sound so electrifying and fully-formed, our expectations are high.
Catch the sultry man for yourself when he hits the stage with a fully-immersive show at Oxford Art Factory this September, or if you’re around New Zealand later in the year, keep your eyes and ears pealed for some WCB summer shows.
September 1st, Sydney, Oxford Art Factory – get your tickets here.