Immensity Crumb — Immensity Crumb Sings 9 Wedding Favorites
(Bandcamp no#, 2020, DL)
by Jon Davis, Published 2020-10-28
Immensity Crumb Sings 9 Wedding Favorites is a glorious celebration of human beings being human, loving and thinking and creating art and making mistakes. Jenn and Brenden Smith play an impressive range of different instruments, with Brenden often centered on guitars, usually acoustic but with some electric ventures, and Jenn on violin. They both sing, with Jenn getting a bit more time in front of the mic, and you’ll also hear viola, mandolin, harp, various kinds of percussion, and more on these songs, which center around a gentle folk-rock sound but do venture into unusual territory, exhibiting a familiarity with both 20th Century composers and RIO. The lyrics are unabashedly literate and heartfelt, somehow managing to express sincere love in terms that aren’t sappy or corny. They do this largely by including concrete details (presumably from their own shared experiences) and by avoiding cliches. Jenn’s acrobatic vocal melodies are also a large part of this, leaping unexpected intervals while maintaining a warm and appealing tone. They begin with a brief instrumental tune featuring the strings and marimba with some percussion, setting the mood for “Evacuation Route,” a lovely almost alt-country tune with a bouncy rhythm and nice finger-picked guitar — there might be a mandolin or something else in the mix as well. Electric guitar provides some mice melodies, along with bits of keyboards, but Jenn’s lead vocal is the real star, navigating the tricky melody effortlessly. Their humor and humanity is on display in “2nd Vln & Vla,” which tells their own story in a way that would have been at home on an album by Mellow Candle or Fuchsia. “Chapter 2” takes us into different territory, with a quick 20-beat rhythm (took me a while to work out the 7+7+6 pattern) on acoustic guitar that veers into a strange dissonant electric melody and fast off-kilter vocals singing “Flowers appear on the Earth” in a different rhythmic pattern. It finishes with a left-field trumpet solo. “Girda and Kay” is the heaviest sounding piece, though only for a brief section after a dramatic buildup featuring close vocal harmonies and marimba — it has a hint of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum about it, though embedded in the middle of a Faun Fables song. In short, Immensity Crumb has produced an extraordinary debut with a thoroughly distinctive and creative sound, beautiful and sincere in a totally unselfconscious way that drives out cynicism, offering hope that love really can conquer all, at least on a personal level.
Related artist(s): Immensity Crumb
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