The Weight of Many Winters Graeme James
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- 1The Weight of Many Winters04:06
- 2No Memories of Tomorrow04:20
- 3The Voyage of the James Caird04:50
- 4Northern Lights04:38
Info for The Weight of Many Winters
International folk artist Graeme James will release The Weight of Many Winters on January 1, 2021, and today he shares new song “No Memories of Tomorrow,” a personal retrospective exploring the fears and regrets one might consider when facing death in the winter seasons of life. Written during his first winter in Europe, the song showcases a more vulnerable and introspective side of Graeme’s storytelling.
Earlier this year, Graeme announced plans to release four seasonal EPs, starting with Old Storms in New Places, which came out in September at the same time as the autumnal equinox (listen here). The Weight Of Many Winters, as the title suggests, is inspired by the emotional and physical landscape of the winter season.
Graeme explains, “Most of the songs on ‘The Weight of Many Winters’ were written during my experiences of the bleak Northern European winter. Winter as a season is full of potent metaphors for our human experience, and I particularly wanted to explore themes of death, desperation and weakness. Winter is also a time of hibernation and reflection. It is a time to do business with one’s soul, for to understand death is to understand life. Though the desolate winter landscape speaks to our mortality, it contains within itself a message of hope: a spring resurrection hidden in every bare branch and deep snowdrift. As well as exploring these themes in my songwriting, the instrumentation and production of 'The Weight of Many Winters' seeks to reflect the stark beauty and cold intensity of the season.”
Though he is now based in the Netherlands, Graeme spent the last number of years building a large and loyal fan base throughout his native New Zealand and beyond with his carefully crafted multi-instrumental soundscapes. His captivating and dynamic live shows are performed as a one-man band with the aid of a loop pedal to layer violin, guitar, bass, baritone ukulele, banjo, mandolin, accordion, harmonica and percussion.
Folk singer-songwriter Graeme James didn’t decide on a life in music until it seemed his very existence depended on artistic gifts. In 2012, circumstances outside his control essentialized his life and he found himself sleeping in his car and busking by day to get by. There and then he made the fateful decision to leap into the unknown and pursue a life as a professional musician. Now, four albums in, the New Zealand artist is firmly entrenched in this life path. Yet, he remains reflective of the emotional and physical transience of the path. In the 6 months before relocating to Europe in mid 2018, Graeme recorded his latest album, The Long Way Home. His Nettwerk debut is a warmly insightful, lushly layered modern folk album.
“This album has a calm-before-the-storm perspective. It was written before leaving New Zealand when I felt like had no idea what the future held which was both terrifying and exciting. Uncertainty definitely makes for good songs,” Graeme says with a good-natured laugh.
Graeme is a critically-acclaimed artist rooted in folk’s rich storytelling and musical traditions. He furthers the lineage with an imaginative textural approach in which he carefully crafts multi-instrumental soundscapes. Graeme’s dynamically layered compositions feature him playing violin, electric violin, guitar, bass, baritone ukulele, mandolin, harmonica, percussion, and beatboxing. He produces his own albums, and he faithfully recreates his textural tunes live in real time with a loop pedal. To date, Graeme has issued a pair of endearingly quirky cover albums; a record of all originals; and now, his first label release, The Long Way Home. Graeme’s self-released debut album, News From Nowhere (2016), has garnered awards and critical acclaim back home. He is one of New Zealand’s most streamed indie artists, and his shows regularly sell out. Graeme’s total Spotify plays surpass 20 million, with most of these streams coming from outside of his native New Zealand.
Graeme’s story is truly about taking the long road home. As a kid, music was his first love and he had his sights fixed on being a concert violinist. In high school, Graeme became fascinated with various folk and Celtic traditions, and began to perform locally with friends and family. By college, he was writing songs and concentrating on guitar. As an adult, Graeme’s path was diverted to a linear life as he pursued being a teacher. Two facet’s eroded Graeme’s desire to follow his music. A private battle with shoulder pain during hours of violin practice conditioned him to associate music with discomfort. And Graeme feared that the freedom of being a musician would overtake him—he craved structure and a well-trodden path.
Fate intervened in 2010 after Graeme bought a loop pedal as an inspired impulse purchase. At home with his new gizmo, Graeme experienced a crystalizing moment when he realized the various instruments he picked up throughout the years, and all the music he explored could coexist in real time. His narrative took a juicier turn when Graeme, in a desperate bid to fund some car repairs, took to busking. His one-man band, and his imaginative renditions of cover songs, made him a hit on the streets of Gisborne, New Zealand. With a running car, and a reawakened passion for music, Graeme began to migrate to different regions of New Zealand to perform, building a strong and devoted following along the way. Hitting career milestones over the years have confirmed music is Graeme’s destiny—he is home.
Reflecting back on the long road, Graeme says with a laugh: “I tried everything to not do music. I think I was looking for something like the army to sort me out. What I realized is that I needed to embrace the freedom to fail. If you’re a street performer, you have busk to eat, even if it’s raining. That woke up with this healthy ambition in me, and that set me off on this wonderful adventure.”
This album contains no booklet.