by tom johnson
There’s an old-ages discolouring to the music of Old Sea Brigade that belies the tender years of its creator, appearing sepia-drenched and sleight of frame as his country-esque ballads quietly breathe life in to otherwise listless January days. The new, self-titled, EP is proof of this; a quiet set of songs performed with heart-worn luster that makes for a five-track journey that instantly feels like, albeit solemn, escapism.
Ben Cramer’s voice is chief protagonist, his warming lyrics feeling the central character at the centre of it all. Imbuing this lone voice is an often gorgeous collection of instrumental waves, from softly plucked guitars to shuffling, underlying throbs of percussion. Opening track ‘Love Brought Weight‘ is perfectly understated, the kind of song that in less-measured hands could leap in to some radio-friendly territory and feel all the worse for it, while the quietly-pounding ‘Georgia’ is wrapped-up with such devotion it can cross borders and oceans and still leave an imprint upon your day.
This faint touch, Cramer’s own sleight-of-hand if you will, is all over the new collection, pulling the songs one way when they seem destined for the opposite. It brings a real sense of adventure to proceedings, of journey and loss and the fight for survival; framed by the touch of a songwriter who so easily and eloquently crafts sentimentality in to something discerning and long-lasting. Stream the EP, in full, below.
Old Sea Brigade is released on January 22nd
Winter US tour dates:
Jan 28 – Atlanta, GA – Aisle 5 (w/Julien Baker)
Feb 8 – Rock Island, IL – Rozz Tox
Feb 9 – Chicago, IL – The Empty Bottle
Feb 11 – Grand Rapids, MI – Founders Brewing Co. (w/ Santah)
Feb 12 – Fort Wayne, IN – The Brass Rail
Feb 15 – Cincinnati, OH – MOTR Pub
Feb 25 – Nashville, TN – Sofar Sounds
Mar 8 – Atlanta, GA – Smiths Olde Bar (Communion Music Residency)