JOHN CRAIGIE - ASTERISK THE UNIVERSE

Release Date: 
12.06.2020
Label/Vertrieb: 
Zabriskie Point Records-Thirty Tigers/Membran

Photos by Bradley Cox

 

Known for his wry wit, articulate lyrics and unmatched sense of humor, the charismatic singer/songwriter employs the unrivaled storytelling skills he has honed through years on the road. Political but not preachy, Asterisk the Universe features Craigie’s observant, character-driven lyrics alongside an earthy mix of soul, folk and rock. The result is his most inspired work to date.

 

Craigie has been steadily gaining fans telling those road tales since 2009, sharing candid stories, vibrant jokes and life musings, turning each show into a collective experience.

He captured this unique feel into 2016’s live album Capricorn In Retrograde…Just Kidding…Live in Portland. Venerated artists from Jack Johnson to Todd Snider have taken notice of Craigie’s work and added him to their tours. Many more jumped on the Craigie train after the release of 2017’s Rain, No Rose, which garnered millions of Spotify streams and led to several Summer 2017 dates opening for Jack Johnson.

The first single on Asterisk the Universe is “Part Wolf,” an ironic take on current American culture, seen through Craigie’s eyes while in the UK. The song starts with “I got that American meanness,” reminding voters to utilize their fighting spirit to stand up and vote in November. Watch the fun, communal recording of “Part Wolf” video here, shot during the 2019 recording of the album in Northern California. Listen to “Part Wolf” here, and also check out the digital B-Side, a cover of The Flaming Lips’ “Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell.”

 

Album opener “Hustlin’” sets the stage for Asterisk the Universe, offering Craigie’s trademark cleverness surrounded by instrumentation that feels like a live show in an intimate club. “Don’t Ask” shines with a vocal arrangement inspired by old Motown tracks. Craigie’s smooth take on JJ Cale’s “Crazy Mama” brings the slow, sexy classic to new audiences, while “Don’t Deny” is perhaps the most jubilant song on the album, with a big piano sound rooted in harmony. “Nomads” recalls Craigie’s Catholic school days with an ode to St. Christopher, the patron saint of travelers. And “Vallecito” finds Craigie ruminating on being at the crossroads and why folks choose the decisions they do.

To record Asterisk the Universe, Craigie holed up in coastal California at the home of The Rainbow Girls and added a host of musician friends including: Matt Goff [drums, Marty O’Reilly], Ben Berry [bass, Old Soul Orchestra], Jamie Coffis [keys, The Coffis Brothers], Lorenzo Loera [organ, The California Honeydrops] and Niko Daoussis [guitar, Shook Twins]. Craigie notes, “My roots are always coastal California. It was great to be so close to the ocean when recording and surrounded by such amazing local talent.”

 

https://johncraigiemusic.com/

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