One of the most important aspects of being in a band is the chemistry among the artists involved. A guitarist with the ability the squeeze a couple hundred notes into a measure, and a drummer who could keep perfect time with the rain on a rooftop would be completely meaningless if they lacked the ability to play off one another in a jam session. No matter hard one may try to work around it, this chemistry cannot be faked or manipulated in a way to seem authentic unless it’s naturally there. It’s a sonic marriage that sets apart the solo artist from collaboration. A marriage than can elevate even the most simple form of music to a level of something truly special.
Marriage is a word that keeps coming to mind when I think of ways to explain Oh, Jeremiah‘s debut album The Other End of Passing Time. Of course it’s obvious to correlate marriage with the Hattiesberg, MS duo seeing as Jeremiah Stricklin and Erin Raber are married, but it really goes much deeper on an artistic level.
I’ve always heard of couples being in relationships so long they find themselves finishing each other’s sentences or knowing what each other is thinking without saying a word. As endearing (or annoying) that may sound, I’ve often wondered if that sort of thing carried it’s way over to music if a couple were in a band together. While listening to this album, the answer is a resounding yes.
The Other End of Passing Time is a collection of songs that find the duo stylistically jumping around from folk, country, pop to Americana without staying in one genre long enough to label the album with a simple word. There are moments with delicate acoustic guitar and angelic harmonies carry the listener from the comfort of their front porch to the hustle of the neighborhood bbq hosted by the local church, while other songs are sentimental and heartfelt like a conversation between lovers in their most secret place.
The gorgeous variety of Americana instrumentation not only pairs well with the vocal performances of Stricklin and Raber, but that certain sonic marriage is fully utilized and showcased like no other musical couple before or currently. Stricklin’s lead is soulful without over powering a single composition while Raber’s vocal performance single handedly elevates any sequence she’s featured. The real magic happens when they deliver the musical equivalent of finishing each other’s sentences. “Hello Ghost” (my personal favorite track on the album) features some of the most perfect harmonies I’ve heard in a song since Pet Sounds. Their voices blend so well together it’s almost like a mini choir. Their respective verses are outstanding but when they sing together it’s just vocal perfection.
With so much emphasis on harmony and togetherness, it’s easy to understand why marriage is the best word I can use to describe this album. The instrumentation is married to the spot on production, the lyrics married to the endearing storytelling, and of course Stricklin and Raber’s vocal harmony brings the record to a level of perfection most mainstream contemporary artists would sell their souls to achieve. The Other End of Passing Time is not only a nice addiction to my summer-into-autumn playlist, but perhaps even a sleeper hit that instantaneously rooted it’s respective spot in my list of favorite albums of the year.
The Other End of Passing Time is available on cd on Oh, Jeremiah‘s Official Website and available to stream on Apple Music and Spotify, and available on 180 gram vinyl exclusively from Deal With The Devil Records . Having this album ready available to stream is convenient and probably the most popular way listen, but this album’s comforting nature is best suited for the warmth of vinyl. It’s mastered so perfectly, it sounds as if the duo are performing the album in your living room. Once again utilizing the marriage between song and performance.