I was introduced to The Oarsman back in March or April by Project Film’s Sam McAllister. Sam is one half of the duo behind Tandem Shop Records, and the artists they do business with are all very talented people. That made it a pretty easy sell when he asked me to check out The Oarsman’s 2012 EP Easel and a stream of a radio show on WBEZ that featured some live performances. I was taken by the genuine feeling in Marcus Maloney’s voice, and I’ve counted myself as a fan ever since.
Tomorrow The Oarsman release a full-length follow up to Easel, and I couldn’t be happier to have more songs by Marcus to take with me where ever I go. I’ve seen him play twice live, both times with his band, and I knew even before hearing Writing House that this was going to be a great record. You might have had a hunch yourself, because back in July “First Flight” came out as the first single. If you haven’t heard it, you can check it out below:
As great as Maloney sounds on record, he’s even better in person. He gives new meaning to the word “intimate,” as he shares his songs about broken hearts, worried minds, and deep-rooted fears. He does it all in a way that makes you think maybe he wrote that song for you, and that’s the kind of music that you always keep near.
The music and production on Writing House is a big step up from Easel. Taking the recording away from the iPhone and into the studio allows Maloney to do a lot more in terms of setting a foundation and layering around it. A great example of this is the newest single, “Porch Light.” It builds from just a guitar and voice to a beautiful composition using simple percussion and whistling.
Currently, The Oarsman are on the east coast playing shows in Massachussetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticutt. Check out their website for more info. I’m sure they’ll be back around the midwest soon, as playing for an audience seems to be what Maloney enjoys most of all. Be sure to pick up Writing House when it debuts tomorrow, September 24th. If you like physical copies of things, you can order it now from Tandem Shop!