Ty Maxon‘s music is beautiful. It was gorgeous in 2009’s Furthest From the Tree, and it’s still so in this year’s Calling of the Crows. Maxon plays intricate acoustic tunes that can be categorized as folk, but their appeal transcends those looking for rustic purity of sound. Furthest had a knowing, distanced, Nick Drake-esque whimsy to it; Calling has a much more intimate, Damien Jurado-esque vibe. The wink is gone, replaced with a wry smile.
This lends the album a mellow, gentle feel. No track here is particularly fast, nor is any one track given inordinate attention. These tracks are all on equal footing, each taking their place in the album and contributing. Some may say that the cascading notes and easy-going tempos don’t change enough from tune to tune, but I like the consistency here. The album comes together to be a unified musical statement, and that’s rare in this day and age. Harmonica, drums and more make occasional appearances, but generally this is the province of Maxon’s voice and guitar. Both don’t get too loud or intense, and instead unveil depth and beauty.
If you’re into stately, gently emotive folk, you’ll be all over this. A perfect lazy porch, gentle rain, hammocking Sunday in the fall would definitely include Calling of the Crows.