Graves – Summr Bummr

GRAVES is Greg Olin from Portland, Oregon. His latest record “Summr Bummr” from St. Ives is a fifteen track journey through a lofty jazz-folk universe unlike anything we’ve heard all year.

Believe it or not, Olin has plenty more albums where this one came from, except most of them seem a bit difficult to get your hands on. That being said, “Summr Bummr” is at least his sixth full length album to date. It clocks in just past the forty minute mark when it’s all wrapped up, so it makes sense that this guy knows what he’s doing being six albums deep in the game. “Summr Bummr” is certainly justification of that in so many different ways.

“Summr Bummr” is that perfect mid-season album that straddles the line of both cool summer nights and chilly fall mornings, mainly because it’s too difficult to pick just one as it applies so well to both. Greg Olin croons with a seasoned voice that adapts excellently to the lazy free-flowing jazz, rhyming words time and time again as he weaves his lyrics so intricately through a majority of these songs. Not only does this help him work toward the status of a lyrical mastermind, but it just goes to show Olin wields the craftsmanship and diligence to create such a thoughtful and yearning record.

Some of these songs sound sparse and wispy like they could blow away in the wind like dust, but still somehow manage to produce a mysteriously puzzling element that supplies great detail. While it’s easy to believe that in instrumental tracks like “Look Mom” and “Thee Three”, it’s really just the rest of these songs coaxing us to believe that. For example, “Natural Way” sounds like a sunny Sunday afternoon while a spirited and soulful Greg Olin admits he’s “feeling good now in a natural way,” and with the way things sound, it’s hard to blame him. “Pine Cone” continues those vibes, which is a peppy and carefully organized folksy number that has the power to positively skyrocket your attitude. It’s tracks like this that will have you loving this album quicker than you thought possible, as they’re definite standouts amongst an album with a tracklist that practically mirrors itself (give or take a few – which is probably why some stand out so well – talking about tracks like “Natural Way” and “Natural Weigh”).

“Slow to Grow” changes up the vibe with a more somber approach than anything prior. Plucked guitars sway and weep amongst the fluttering organs, right before an unexpectedly excellent finale that is like the ethical answer for the dreary vibes from earlier. Once again this shows what Olin is capable of when it comes to structuring his songs, supplying a change of pace at just the right moments or by keeping the flow uninterrupted when it’s best left alone. You can easily see what we mean by checking out these tracks right below – and you should, because we’ll definitely be seeing this album again.

Don’t forget to grab a copy of the LP while you still can – they’re extremely limited to 200 copies and like anything else from St. Ives, there’s not going to be a repress. Don’t say we didn’t warn ya!

PS – Here’s a YouTube video featuring the song “Pine Cone”

Lazer Show & Hollywood –

Natural Way –

Look Mom –

Weed Out the Trips –

My Rating: 9/10
Genre/ Tags: Folk, Jazz, Singer-Songwriter
Summr Bummr: Tracklist:
1.) O O O Around the World
2.) Lazer Show & Hollywood
3.) Natural Way
4.) Pine Cone
5.) Slow to Grow
6.) Borrow a Truck
7.) Look Mom
8.) Natural End
9.) Thee Three
10.) O O O Around the World Again
11.) Lazer Show & Hollywood II
12.) Piano Song
13.) Natural Weigh
14.) Magic Mountain
15.) Weed Out the Trips

BUY the LP directly from Insound – only 200 handmade copies !
Graves on Myspace

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6 responses to “Graves – Summr Bummr

  1. Pingback: Top 25 Albums of 2011 | The Styrofoam Drone

  2. all of graves’ other albums can be bought at http://hushrecords.com/zencart/index.php?main_page=

  3. I got one of the 200….very happy. For those who love his music and are interested…..Graves has more releases from People In A Position To Know (PIAPTK), a very small limited edition label. Do yourself a favour and check them out. The three that I have are Solid Home life (a collaboration between him and Lindsay Shief of Lake); 4-Way Split: Northwest (Graves, Karl Blau, Nate Ashley & The Gift Machine) on which Graves has three songs; Fleetwood’s Hack (a collaboration between Norfolk & Western and Graves). I hope everyone finds this helpful and can get their hands on some of these other great albums.
    Cheers

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