Premiere: Old Sea Brigade Shares New Single “Stayed Up Late” | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Premiere: Old Sea Brigade Shares New Single “Stayed Up Late”

5 AM Paradise Is Out October 28 via Nettwerk

Jul 07, 2022
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Over the past few years, Nashville-based musician Ben Cramer has made his name via cinematic indie singer/songwriter fare under the moniker, Old Sea Brigade. His first two albums, 2019’s Ode To A Friend and 2021’s Motivational Speaking, saw Cramer inhabiting and encapsulating the Americana singer/songwriter mold, but his forthcoming album, 5 AM Paradise, works to transcend it. The record finds Cramer working with a coterie of collaborators and shimmering technicolor synths, crafting his most moving and expansive work yet.

To record the album, Cramer recruited two long-time collaborators as producers; Jeremy Griffith, who produced Ode to a Friend, and Owen Lewis, who produced Motivational Speaking. The trio decamped to a mountain cabin in North Carolina, wherein they set up their own makeshift recording studio and began writing and recording 5 AM Paradise. Together, the trio blended the record’s sharply written threads of aging, youthful longing, and newfound maturity, weaving a self-described coming-of-age record of vivid scale.

The full album is out this fall, but ahead of the release, Cramer has shared another new single, “Stayed Up Late,” premiering with Under the Radar.

In contrast to the record’s preceding sweeping and lushly produced singles, “Man Made By Delusion” and “5 AM Paradise,” “Stayed Up Late” is a more gentle and nocturnal effort. The track evokes the dreamy liminal spaces of the late night and early morning, finding Cramer’s lilting vocals seeped in rich washes of piano, finger-picked guitar, and synths. The sound of the track feels no less lush and expansive than the record’s previous singles, culminating in a soaring instrumental outro. Yet, Cramer also finds power in simplicity. Matching the song’s stark and plaintive melodies, the lyrics trace the simple settled pleasures of growing alongside the ones you love as you move into new phases of life.

Check out the song and accompanying visualizer below. 5 AM Paradise is out everywhere on October 28th via Nettwerk. You can also read our accompanying Q&A with Cramer below.

You’ve described 5 AM Paradise as a coming-of-age record. What coming-of-age stories inspire you?

This feels wrong and like I’m setting wild expectations for my record, but in my opinion, Born To Run is the best coming-of-age album of all time. Again, not comparing myself to Bruce. He’s the boss. I’m the shift supervisor on my best day.

When did you know that the album was a coming of age record?

I think it was explored in hindsight. We got into the studio and much like life, we just kind of stumbled into it. Sometimes you go in with an over-arching theme and through the process, delve deeper down. During the pandemic everything felt pretty hopeless, my fiancé who is from Sweden got stuck abroad during most of 2020. We had no control over when we would see each other again – so I used songwriting as my creative outlet. So even though there was a lot up in the air, I knew every day I could sit down with my guitar, a cup of coffee and try to make sense of it all on the page.

Why did you choose to build your own studio in the mountains to record? Do you feel like it drew out a different sound or creative inspiration for this record?

New surroundings always bring new inspiration. It doesn’t matter if it’s the mountains, a bus station, the DMV. I’d say the biggest benefit was breaking up my daily day-to-day routine. I wouldn’t consider this a “mountain” record, given the amount of synths, but the natural beauty was what made it easy to wake up every morning and record.

How has Old Sea Brigade evolved over the years since your debut? How would you say 5 AM Paradise differs from your last record?

I feel like a lot of the time people don’t know if I’m a band or a solo artist or a sea captain. I don’t think I did it intentionally, but 5AM is the biggest sounding record in terms of just sheer number of tracks on each song. “5AM Paradise,” the single, has like 7 or 8 guitar tracks alone. This record to me sounds more like a collaboration amongst friends and less so a solo album. I started to make this leap with [my last record] Motivational Speaking and had planned to tour with a full band but the timing didn’t work out due to, you know what. I’d say the biggest difference between the two is that I was doing this intentionally with Motivational Speaking, whereas it felt like the natural progression with 5 AM.

What was the inspiration behind your new single “Stayed Up Late”? What influences and experiences were you hoping to evoke?

“Stayed up Late” was a song I wrote after being away from the studio, guitars, and pianos for a while. I hadn’t played music for about a month. I walked back into my house, sat down at the piano and wrote the song in 10 minutes. I think it’s a song influenced by time away from something you love. The chords are simple, the melody isn’t overly complex and lyrically it just sort of fell out. I’d say my biggest takeaway from that experience was, it’s sometimes beneficial to step away for a moment to gain perspective.


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