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Sunday, 25 September 2011

Griff says; Journey to the eye of The Storm

If you've been paying attention, you may remember me mentioning my friend Pierre Chandeze previously (see 'here'). Pierre is a talented graphic artist, a member of Top Montagne (featured 'here' previously on The Streetlamp), a solo musician in the guise of Carton Sonore, and, last but not least, an exponent of the musical saw. As if all that wasn't enough, Pierre has also found time in the last two years to play the bass guitar with tonight's Streetlamp recommendation, Sean Croft.

Sean Croft (pictured below) is a singer-songwriter from Florida, US, who decided to move to Paris two years ago. By his own account, he has not seen much of 'La Ville-Lumière' but has spent this time living in the closet of a studio and feverishly working on his freshly released meisterwerk, entitled The Storm.

The Storm is a 'big-sounding', wonderfully ambitious and accomplished 13-track album, which can be found 'here' on bandcamp. A physical copy of the album is a mere $5, while the digital version may be freely downloaded.

The tracks, which have a melodramatic and portentous air about them, are written to sound like the different parts of the storm, e.g. the gathering storm, then the full force, and finally the aftermath. However, they are not in chronological order. The album, which opens with the rousing Landfall, starts with the storm in full flow and then goes backwards and forwards in time throughout its course.

I'm embedding a couple of tracks below, to give you a flavour of the sound. Like many of the 'Griff says' recommendations it has a folky feel but, on this occasion, there is a harder, rockier edge at work too. Listening to this album, the artist I am most reminded of is Beirut, which is high praise indeed round these parts.

Given the richness of the sound acheived, you may be surprised to learn that Sean Croft is merely a trio. The final member of the group being Felice Briguglio, 'a Sicilian madman', who provides the driving percussion.

The lovely cover art (pictured below) was provided by Sean himself who digitally manipulated one of his own photos, taken on the beach outside his house in Florida.

Incidentally, and I don't know if Sean himself is aware of this, but the ancient motto of the city of Paris is; Fluctuat nec mergitur (Latin: "It is tossed by the waves, but does not sink"). Seems like Sean could have found no better place to record his album! However, it seems that his time in Paris is now over and he is soon to be on the move again. As of the beginning of October, he will be in Mozambique with the Peace Corps teaching English in a high school while working on the follow-up to The Storm. The Streetlamp looks forward to hearing it and can't help but wonder how Mozambique will work its way into the music, just as Paris did.


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