Ears Wide Open: 18 Wheeler

18 Wheeler

18 Wheeler is the solo project of songwriter Matteo Debole, a 23-year-old L.A. native who previously released a few songs under his own name, was part of a couple other short-lived projects and cites as influences the likes of X, Elliott Smith, Madison Cunningham, Arthur Russell and Elvis Costello.

His first two singles as 18 Wheeler — from an EP produced by Desi Scaglione (Rocket) and Sebastian Jones — lean toward immersive, down-tempo, avant garde indie-rock, possessing warm vocal harmonies and keyboard accoutrements. That said, on “Lunch” (released today), Debole engages in some rather merciless self-flagellation. “I’m accustomed to the mediocrity / I like my weed to smell like nothing / convince me I deserve the same / if everyone in the circle is laughing in my face,” he sings plaintively..

18 Wheeler’s debut single, released this summer, has more teeth but the same harmonic warmth. “Brightness” is a neo-shoegaze track that teeters between harsh dissonance and pretty harmonies. It’s done with a degree of sophistication that makes you eager to see where 18 Wheeler trucks next.

Both songs are available for free download on Bandcamp.

||| Stream: “Lunch” and “Brightness”