JAMES LAMB | Imagineering

This album has been a long time coming. It’s still a bit hazy, but I do remember somehow running into the music of Canada’s James Lamb via writing about musician Miss Emily Brown. Lamb’s track “Date With a Wrecking Ball” was the track I first heard, although in a slightly different format. The unadorned melodies and the wonderfully descriptive chorus sets it apart. Lamb has a sweet sense for thoughtful poetics and sincere alt-folk lyricism: “Warm hands are shaking / Frozen limbs are aching / Where has the heart gone? / Would someone prove this wrong / For I’ve got a date with a wrecking ball.”  Now you can finally stream his eight-song record, “Imagineering”, at bandcamp. It’s cool to see the record was mastered with the help of a good musician in his own right, Sandro Perri. Lamb has a host of other musicians listed as contributors to the album, including wonderful violinist Hannah Epperson, who most notably played with Miss Emily Brown on her song “World Traveller”. She adds a pretty depth to Lamb’s record. His musical style on “Imagineering” is often light of touch — generally telling rural stories interlaced with misty asides about various states of love and dreamily-sung verses with pretty end-rhymes. “Deep Dark Blue” is a countrified vision of charm. The majestic, string-laden “Shot Down the Tracks” works both as working-class tale and metaphor, with the central image of a train never bound for glory: “You don’t gotta look close to see they’re dropping like flies / The air is so hot, it is a fire of lies.” Lamb’s song “Love In the River” is a gossamer meditation, the duet vocals floating above the instrumentation like a daydream: “There is love in the wind, let blow through the trees / Let it go where ever it please.”  Note: All lyrics are unofficial. — David D. Robbins Jr.

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