MR WA7T has released his debut album No Thread Leads Back to the Heart.
No Thread Leads Back to the Heart is MR WA7T’s debut release, but the artist – real name Ian Watt – is no stranger to the music industry. He’s been a presence behind-the-scenes for years, producing and remixing for the likes of Beyoncé, Texas, Missy Elliott, and Lana Del Rey, and signing to Capitol Records America under the wing of Danny D (manager of production powerhouse Stargate, and head of Sam Smith and Charli XCX’s publishing company Stellar Songs). But it was a series of developments in his personal life that led Watt to reconsider being in the background of other people’s records.
No Thread Leads Back to the Heart first began to take shape while Watt was in his native Northern Ireland. Born and raised during the Troubles, Watt had left the country after he first realised he was gay when he was younger. He now resides in London, but was back in Belfast to be by his sister’s side while she was undergoing a course of stem cell treatment. Returning from the hospital every evening, he’d record fragments of music on his phone. Upon heading back to London, he realised that his recordings were more than just a document of this brief, difficult time, but an exploration of a whole lifetime of hurt.
In a press release, Watt explains that during his time back in Belfast he was “drinking a lot and popping pills and made all these recordings on my phone – things I wouldn’t remember doing the next day… All these things I thought I’d dealt with started coming to surface. But it turned out I hadn’t come to terms with anything.”
Speaking Rolling Stone UK, Watt adds: “The concept behind the album title comes from Blood Spatter Analysis. Having binged Dexter I became fascinated with how he used red thread to show the projection of blood in order to piece together how a crime was committed. It was like he was looking back in time to explain what had happened. My album is the emotional version of this. It’s about looking back and trying to piece together what went on.”
In London he took the rough chords and melodies he’d recorded and pulled from his production background to transform them into a collection of songs, drawing from folk to electro-pop to house music. No Thread Leads Back to the Heart is scattered with field recordings, including ambient noise from the hospital, and a visit to a medium when he attempted to contact his parents (the song ‘Betty and Tommy’ is a tribute to his parents, while ‘Home’ deals with his mother’s extreme reaction to his coming out).
Listen to the album here, and watch a visualiser for the song ‘Home’ above.