Singer/songwriter Casey Stratton has a new album ready for you to hear, and The Calling of the Crows is well-wroth a listen. The 12-song collection is a mature and strong one, and arguably Casey's best effort yet, a high compliment considering how much I love his music. Casey makes his music in Michigan, and continues a long tradition of indie artists who stay true to their muse while making amazing music without the corporate interference of a record label. There is a beauty in Casey's voice, which holds up well to the layered production that flows so beautifully. The album is the product of Casey's talent and emotional expression, for he not only wrote and produced the album, he is also responsible for all the instruments featured. The album kicks off with "The Bitter Truth," a moody opening charged with a beat felt deep in my core. Give a listen for yourself.
About six weeks ago, Casey offered the EP When The Fates Came, featuring the second cut on the album of the same name. Read about that EP here. That is the only song shared by the 6-song EP and this release. "Ghosts In The Walls" offers an urgency in the insistent beat, with a tribal feel. The words carry their own poetry, evoking a dark inner-dialogue worthy of Poe. There is a simplicity in "Second Life" that is both refreshing and rejuvenating. There is something about the beginning to "Tears That Know Your Name" that makes me think Kelly Clarkson could slay this song. There is a depth to "Sacred Tattoo" that really needs to be heard.
The first few bars of "Waiting" has a strong sense of foreboding, quickly surpassed by the urgency of love. On the other hand, "The Roads of Time" has such a feeling of nostalgia, of love and life shared. "Wait by the Water" has the sound of traditional Folk music, with a quality of chanting and storytelling that makes one sit up and listen. "Mile Markers" is a ballad that has the air of confession, with a touch of guilt and confusion. The next track carries a bit of the Celtic tradition, as you might expect from "Elegy". There is an honesty and a frankness brought to life by Casey's brilliant vocals. Finally, there is "Wanderlust". The aching begins with the opening of the track, with the introspective music drawn forward by the driving beat of the drum. Along with these great songs comes a wonderful e-book that features the lyrics, liner notes, and some beautiful images from photographer Terry Johnston. You can purchase The Calling of the Crows directly from Casey on his online store. You can learn more about Terry Johnston at his official website. And for more information about Casey and his music, visit his official website.