Bentframe is the moniker for Christopher Lovelace from Winchester, VA. Lovelace got his start with music in the late ’90s singing in punk bands. His taste for different types of music evolved and he found himself listening to a catalogue of mountain/roots music.
His recent release RECAP mixes bedroom type production with some influence from roots music. The songs aren’t as off kilter as that might sound. I found the structure and dynamics of the songs relatively straightforward songs.
The vocals really felt like the strength and backbone of the album to me. Lovelace’s singing often comes off as hyperbolic with a noticeable affectation. That might not always sound like a positive thing but in this case I felt like it worked. He really leans into the words and sort of dances this line but never crosses it.
Lovelace plays a chameleon in this way. His vocals adapt to the song and he fits the emotional frequency. Take for instance the opener “The Mythic Sea” which is upbeat and sort of loose and playful. If Lovelace put any more intensity on the words it would come off as some maniac you might hear on some children's programs like Barney the Purple Dinosaur. I think that show has been cancelled but I’m getting old so give me a break.
I feel like another example but the other end of the spectrum of this is a highlight entitled “The Slate Is Divide” where there is a more expensive and heartfelt quality to the vocals which reflects the music.
Some of the songs towards the middle of the album felt like vignettes rather than fully explored ideas. These tunes come in under two minutes. The album ends strong with the upbeat and off-kilter knee slapper “The Healing Song” which might be the best song on the album. He sounds like a mix of Les Claypool and a country singer on this track.
Overall, I thought this was a fun album with some heartfelt moments. Take a listen.
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