It’s been quite a while that I sat down and listened to a sad guitar song by a songwriter with a vulnerable voice and lines that start as a melody and then end being uttered, like a bitter thought in a grim theatre play. But here we are, in the early hours of January 2021 and here’s the EP “The Weight of Many Winters” by Graeme James, a busker turned professional musician (although, technically, since buskers make their income through their music, they are professional musicians as well).
It’s the kind of album that’s nearly fallen out of time. At least for me. Throughout the 00s, especially the later 00s, I listened to tons of folksy, sad and warm albums but since I moved to Berlin, I got drawn more and more to the neon lights of pop music that references the dangerously sexy 80s and I hardly ever looked back. But this is a gorgeous little EP, with all the ingredients, I love because they warm my heart. A violin fading out into the night, a banjo strumming before James nearly angry starts singing “The Voyage of the James Caird” (a song that, incidentally, almost feels like it at some point wanted to be a synth pop song but only had folk instruments lying around).
The strength of this EP lies in the quiet moments because those are the ones that create a real closeness. At times, it is a little too smooth in the production and I wish it would have held back a bit with the growing, grand moments (yes, it’s absurd, I usually love pathos, but Daniel Norgren and his minimalist soundscapes ruined me when it comes to music that sounds like you’re packed in a small cabin in the middle of the woods to just clear your head with the isolation of the trees and birds around you – leave it just grimy enough that you hear the floorboards creek).
It’s still a lovely little EP.
Oh, also, apparently, Graeme drew the cover art himself which I really love, it was actually the reason I listened to the EP in the first place, yes, I am a visual person, how did you know?