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Artist: It’s Just Craig

Album: Dark Corners

Genre(s): Americana, Goth Country, Glitchy Indie Rock

Dark Corners is one of those artistic gems that you rarely find these days. Uniquely experimental and featuring a distinct sound, It’s Just Craig have been bold to make the choices that they made. The band features Marc Ford (Black Crowes/Ben Harper/Magpie Salute) on lead guitar, Elijah Ford on bass, piano, and acoustic and electric guitars, Jason Slota (Thao & the Get Down Stay Down) on drums, Rob Shelton (Meernaa) on synths, and Jess and Kels Von Strantz on background vox and cello.

To quote them, this album is the story of a cargo boat captain and his journey.  From the moment he leaves home, both excited & full of reservations, on a sometimes lonely path, getting stranded within view of his destination port, fighting temptations of the sea, struggling with being out of touch with his partner on land, & ultimately deciding whatever it was he was deciding, only to learn that the decision may no longer be his to make.

Track Rating
1.     Intro ★★★½☆
2.     Go ★★★★☆
3.     Alone ★★★★☆
4.     Captain ★★★★☆
5.     Siren Sings ★★★☆☆
6.     Goodnight ★★★½☆
7.     Rain never came ★★★★☆
8.     Leaving Now ★★★★½
9.     NA NA
10.   Thirty-Nine ★★★★☆

1. Intro

A meditative, short track makes up all of Intro. Dream-like and mysterious, it’s enough to hook a causal listener in.

2. Go

A raw-sounding song ensues, picking up steam as it progresses. Simple but oddly charming, a few off notes thrown in the mix, Go is one of those tracks that has its soul in the right place.

3. Alone

Another song that hits you right in the feels, Alone is emotional and empathetic. With a beautiful arrangement, this is one to savour.

4. Captain

A downtempo, sultry number greets you in Captain, that’s almost ballad-like. Progressive and psychedelic, this is a nuanced song with deep lyrics.

5. Siren Sings

Another track with a chant-like verse, this one goes one notch up with the experimentation. A song about a rough day at the sea, Siren Sings really paints a vivid picture.

6. Goodnight

Goodnight is a track which really brings about its intention in its music. Angst and confusion fill the lyrics and the general aura, and the synth swells that form the hook totally nail it.

7. Rain Never Came

An eerie intro into the track, this dark number starts off very minimalistic, and hits a raw, emotional note when it gets to “So I go to you”. Offbeat as the other tracks, this one works for the musical boundaries it stretches.

8. Leaving Now

Starting on an americana-blues note, this track in particular is reminiscent of the alt-pop band Oh Wonder. Trippy and image-evoking, this dreamy number is art at its finest.

9. NA

A track that’s just silence, this is meant to serve as a differentiator to the last track which is unrelated to the rest of the concept album. Instead, in the words of the band, it is about ” Jason Molina and how I (Craig Helmreich), and many other people I know, could follow his self destructive path if we didn’t guard against it.”

10. Thirty-Nine

Thirty-Nine is an earnest guitar-driven track, with the cello bringing in the melancholy to good effect. Again a reflective piece of a man looking back on his life, this is one for those late nights.

Verdict: Dark Corners is an exceptional album and is totally worth your while.

Picks of the album: Leaving Now, Captain

Overall rating: ★★★★★★★½☆☆