Chris Castino displays excellent songcraft on the beautifully performed ‘Chinese Whispers’. The song is about being physically separated from people you love and the first word we hear is the name of Castino’s cousin Sonny, who died after suffering from mental illness. This is intense, reflective, masterful music from The Big Wu’s Chris Castino, who has just released his first solo album, ‘Brazil’.
Chris says of the song: “One night while driving home from a gig, I was listening to the radio program The BBC World, which airs between midnight and 4 am over here. It keeps me company on long drives in the middle of the night. The story was about a hurricane or something like that on some remote Asian islands. And the report said that because most of the power was out on the islands that getting information seemed to be more like “Chinese Whispers” than actual data. Having never heard it before, I wrote that term down immediately. In the States, we have something called “telephone” which is our version of Chinese Whispers, where you sit in a circle and someone whispers a message to the person next to them, and they pass it along to the next person and so on, and so on. Its kind of like a rumour but more of a distortion of something intended to be true. My song is about losing someone in my extended family to mental illness, and not really knowing what was going on or how serious his condition was. Only hearing a version of version. It left me feeling as though I had missed a chance to do something; to help him in some way. Grief does funny things. And its also about experiencing denial of death by constantly imagining that they are still here. Strangely, this song comforts me.”