Jane Kramer: Carnival of Hopes single review

American musician Jane Kramer’s career can be traced back to her time studying at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina. There, she helped to found folk ensemble The Barrel House Mamas, who would become a familiar feature on the live scene around America’s south-eastern region between the years of 2003 and 2009.

By the time 2013 rolled round, Kramer had completed work on her first full length solo record, Break and Bloom, which was met with a warm reception. More recently, she’s been hard at work on an upcoming sequel called Carnival of Hopes, which will be released in January. Before that though, she has shared the album’s title track to offer a taste of what’s to come.

It opens with a warm acoustic riff, the amiable attitude of which arrests and reassures on the way to a volley of very vivid vocals in the verse. The style of the serenade is simultaneously solemn and sanguine as the earnest lyrics are recited in a remarkably resonant way. At the same time, the instrumentation stays sedate and soothing, maintaining a moving mood in the background.

Stirring strings underscore the graceful guitars, which helps to emphasize the emotional ambience of the piece beneath the consistently captivating crooning. The volume and velocity increase around the two minute mark, just ahead of an absorbing instrumental salvo. Affecting strings drift delicately upon a bright beat from here, before one final riveting refrain brings things to a heartfelt finish. The result is a friendly country/folk affair that keeps compelling from commencement to conclusion.

Jane Kramer

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Graduate of NUI Maynooth's Department of English, passionate writer of fiction and creative non-fiction alike. Mad about music, movies and books. If there's anything I enjoy more than listening, watching and reading, it's writing about what I listen to, watch and read! Check me out at davecsimpson.wordpress.com, find me on Twitter @davesimpson1 or drop me a line at dave@puremzine.com