The cloud phenomenon that sometimes occurs in the tiny Swiss hamlet of Sils Maria is notable due to the fact that one can stand on the mountain peaks that surround it and when the clouds roll in look down on them hiding the valley below beneath a sea of clouds. This quaint and quiet village and meteorological phenomenon is where Stony Brook, Long Island singer songwriter Jeremy Linzee takes his moniker from.
On his debut record East, Linzee paints somber portraits of lives of people who seem to be themselves adrift and alone. On the gentle opener “Neue Galerie” and with its gentle clicks of acoustic guitar and lapping keys, sets the tone for East. The mysterious and haunting “Soldier” seems to have its roots in Andrew Bird’s more lush recitals as does the equally ethereal “Plastic Bag” where Linzee uses the metaphor of a floating plastic bag, floating down the street of someone that used to be close to him perhaps but then remembering floats on.
One of the biggest highlights of East is the nearly five minute long “Kick at the Leaves” a hushed and lush song which laps its way gently along as though it were borne up small waves in the middle of a sea. Another highlight or highlights are Linzee’s use of multiple vocal tracks, which gives the songs a foggy resonation. They are important because then the songs on East have much more complexity and keep Linzee from getting lost in the shuffle that many solo musicians kind find themselves in.
Two more stand out tracks are the ambient and groovy “Letter” a five plus minute instrumental which features saxophone and strings and its shorter instrumental companion “Ruins.” Here we hear Linzee demonstrating that the singer songwriter can sometimes do away with the singer part and still make music that makes you feel something when you hear it.
East is definitely an album for anyone who is currently striking out on their own as a musician. It can teach you things about how to make yourself sound like more than just a person with a guitar. East is also a great record for people who appreciates music that has a soulful richness to it, and that though their subjects may be sad they are also healing. Either way don’t let East pass you by.
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