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A musician from Union, New Jersey, Ben Lorentzen is a singer/songwriter in the vein of alternative wordsmiths like Nick Drake, Leonard Cohen, and Nick Cave. Rich in lush arrangements, and deep in honest simplicity, Lorentzen’s new album America is the product of someone obsessed and head over heels in love with music. Melancholic and moody, there nevertheless remains an incredible amount of spirit and energy in what he does, and described as detailing “the heights and depths where emotion can be at its most visceral and overwhelming,” it’s almost impossible to not get caught up in passion of it all.
On songs like the opener “My American Revolution,” Lorentzen’s vocals seem to float in casually, almost unattached to the song like an impressionist painting, and the songs themselves are stretched out to their breaking point, while remaining cinematic and captivating. Some seem like old folk standards, generations old with a modern update like “Evergreen Tree” and “These Sudden Changes,” but they are purely his creation. Yet, he is also capable of the occasional incredibly catchy pop song, as on “Heaps of Ashes.” In the end, America is apt title, for it is an album wide and expansive like its namesake with the same inimitable sense of identity and purpose.
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