When it comes to crafting albums, singer-songwriter Graeme James seems to follow two philosophies: Do it yourself, and think big.
And no, those are not conflicting notions. James, a talented multi-instrumentalist, plays a dizzying array of instruments on his new Nettwerk Records release, Seasons (out April 1st) — just as he did on his Nettwerk debut, 2019’s The Long Way Home, and his earlier independent efforts. He’s been a one-man band since he started his career as a busker in his native New Zealand, and still uses his trusty loop pedal to create his own mini-orchestra when he performs live.
James also produces his recordings, which allows him to sandwich together as many layers of violin, fiddle, guitar, mandolin, bass, double bass, banjo, baritone ukulele, viola, cello, harmonica, accordion, and percussion as he wants. For Seasons, he did request piano, horn, percussion and vocal contributions from friends.
He even creates his own cover art, drawn in a distinctive pen-and-ink style partly inspired by vintage children’s books and linocut printing.
As for the “go big” part, that’s more about his approach to subject matter. On The Long Way Home, James did with words and music what Einstein did with math: explore the nature of time and space. With Seasons, James contemplates the cycles of life and the human condition, as measured by nature’s own time clock. These are not idle musings about mundane situations. Though he might use tiny brushstrokes to define minute details, James paints panoramas, not postcards.
The Long Way Home wasn’t a concept album; its theme emerged organically whereas Seasons definitely is. Starting with spring, it cycles through to winter via 12 songs of such intimacy and delicate beauty, they invoke another Einstein comparison — to the fictional literary gem, Einstein’s Dreams.
Today Glide is excited to premiere the video for the album’s first single, “Everlasting Love,” a standout track that would fit perfectly within that petite book’s pages. An upbeat tempo with flourishes of mandolin, organ and even a mariachi horn give the song a sweeping and connectable sense of drama and emotion. Lyrically, the song is a celebration of committed love and one that resonates in that universal kind of way. The video features plenty of gorgeous cityscape footage to complement James’ pastoral yet poppy indie folk that has the power to brighten your day.
James describes the inspiration behind the tune:
“Everlasting Love is a celebration of the choice to commit to another in the face of trials. Facing an uncertain world as well as our own deep imperfections, the presence of a companion on the journey is a profound comfort. This song speaks to the freedom and joy that commitment can bring.”