For Maine-based singer/songwriter Greg Jamie, 2018 starts off with a bang, as much so as we would wish for any of the rest of you. His album Crazy Time is about to come out, and the title couldn’t be more fitting for this day and age. His unique and eery blend of folk-infused guitar and delicate, matter-of-fact lyrics lends itself perfectly to the new year, balancing in soundscapes we aren’t completely familiar with yet. But he has pulled technique from his previous band work with O’Death and Blood Warrior and, after we had the chance to let the first track tickle our eardrums, we think we’re ready for this one.
Crazy Time takes you on a stunning journey, beginning with that quirky lead track “Inherit The Wind”, which notes physical labor we might not all be familiar with, giving us the perception that this album somehow brings everything back to the basics while also delivering this sound that – as noted previously – isn’t quite existent in our record collections. “This Life” exists at a meandering tempo as one of those “for the people” anthems. As Jamie croons lines like “work hard to try and forget all the things that shot me dead,” we gather gumption to face the new year. (And may or may not be envisioning 50 Cent with his bullet wounds getting back up like a fighter.) “Tarred and Feathered” slows it down a little more, a feeling of pure, easy-listening folk to the instrumentals as he sings of hell with vocals that are both devastatingly beautiful and melancholic at the same time.
“Everything Here” incorporates a little rougher sound with electric guitar, though we continue to exist at a slower tempo. As he sings “I hope and I pray to get out of my way,” the listener realizes what a song of struggle it is, as the lyrics are very literal and the instrumentals have also been composed to feel like they are battling with each other to some tremendous and mesmerizing extent. And we’re all on board with the title of track five, “Time Went Crazy”, which is delivered with this insane clock sound in the background as the listener is thrown into a soundscape that makes them feel like they’re falling into Wonderland.
It is with sixth track “Bells of Victory” that we get this aching feeling in our bones. With more of an instrumentally psychedelic flare to this track, we find ourselves lost in a kaleidoscope of sound briefly before the sobering lyrics of “My Garden Is Fever” take hold. “When I Get Home” is lighter than its predecessors, a chorus of sorts utilized to dig the album out of its gloomier feel. Not to mislead you, however, This track is just as intensely honest and abrupt as the others, but there is almost a warmth to it that can only be found with community. Last track “The Lake” maintains this ethereal, light feel to it, as Jamie’s vocal register reaches new heights and he continues to impress us until the song fades out.
This album is what it is to feel both tormented and indestructible at once.
Orindal Records will release Crazy Time on January 19th.