A collection of songs about loss and love, brought together with warmth and passion from a very delicate place, The Ones Who Wait is a rewarding listen full of charm. Stripped back compared to Denison Witmer's earlier work, often the arrangements are rich without every feeling crammed with too much orchestration or unnecessary background filler.

Stepping into this album, it's worth knowing that this album was written after recording had begun for a different project of Witmer's. Witmer stopped recording as he found out his father had died, and has come back with this album, putting aside the previous work. The Ones Who Wait is a true introspective, and allows Witmer to slow down and mellow out, in a way that was wasn't perhaps lacking in his previous work, but certainly seemed to come as an afterthought. The aim here isn't to be for loud simply to create feel good show-tunes, but to craft songs that build up upon their subject matter, and grow with the weight of the feelings captured.

The album starts off with 'Hold On', a seemingly harmful blend of guitar picking, off beat drumming, and a lackadaisical, strumming guitar. However, as soon as the vocals kick in, we are guided wholly by Witmer, as he sings with a carefreeness that never seemed apparent before from the man. It is with this opener that the rest of album takes its cues, as the vocal line becomes our guiding spirit through The Ones Who Wait. 'Life Before Aesthetics' offers a playful vocal melody over some very simple guitar plucking, and expands upon itself throughout the duration of the song. An early highlight, the simplicity of the piece becomes more than the parts that construct it, simply on the strength of Witmer's passion and ability to set a tone that carries through, not just to the end of the song, but to the whole rest of the album.

The cheeriest song here is definitely the banjo-fuelled 'Influence', and even though the song could be charged with sounding slightly out of place, it comes across throughout as Witmer putting on a happy outside, dressing himself in this warm cloak as he sings, somewhat endearingly, "Now I wear my influence on the outside of my skin." 'Every Passing Day' has the duty of channeling the spirit of Elliott Smith, with a lyric so bizarre I simply had to include it in this review: "If you spend every passing day turning crutches into legs/You'll find I have a friend who used to say if you spend every passing day turning crutches into legs/You'll find you're blurring the line." 'Two and a Glass Rose' brings in Witmer's signature guitar picking and has a buoyed vocal throughout, offering up the hardships of trying to put into music the feelings he has, "If I sang a song for you I don't know what it means/If I played guitar for you it's lost between the strings."

It seems unfair to have to give this album a rating of any sort. Sure, a few songs lose their footing with repetitive themes and disjointed melodies, namely 'Brooklyn With Your Highest Wall' and 'One More Day'. When this album hits home, however, and connects with the listener, it is unparalleled in its sheer emotive resonance. The album closers 'Cursing', and 'I Live In Your Ghost' are must listens for this year. Although certainly not an album for every mood, when it connects with the listener, it is almost perfect, and you go through the motions completely with our wonderfully talented Denison Witmer. Break up with your girlfriend, lose £400 on a 'sure-bet', get robbed, lose your job, break a leg, lose your wallet, and then throw on The Ones Who Wait. This is an album of mutual love, as Denison Witmer sings on 'Hold On', "You're not here to listen, seems to me/Hold on to you, hold on to me."