Lunarticks by gingerjamesfair
In the early 2000s, before social media had matured into the data-collecting, marketing trap we now love to hate, it was a tool for young seekers to find like-minded individuals irrespective of location. Back then, I connected with James Fair, aka gingerjamesfair, in an online community for writers, filmmakers, and musicians. Our artistic and creative spirits aligned and this online communication blossomed into a real life friendship that has produced some amazing memories in the intervening years. The exact name of that website escapes me now, but I will forever appreciate it for introducing me to James.
At least as long as I have know him, James has doggedly worked his ass off as a writer, filmmaker, and musician. He is also a university lecturer and recently earned a PhD. While I encourage you to check out his work in other media (it's a large body of work, so budget plenty of time), this post is about the music. I am not sure if this introduction is really relevant to anything except my own nostalgia, but it was fun to think about it for a minute.
The music of James Fair has accompanied me through the last decade or so, coming to mind at the most unexpected moments, much like its creator. And although time may have passed since the previous encounter and much may be different, everything is still somehow entirely familiar and comfortable. Lunarticks, a concept album, is full of contemplation, beautiful melodies, brooding textures, DIY gusto, and playful experimentation. In short, it is everything I have loved about James' music, but mo' better.
This album chronicles the members of the Lunar Society of Birmingham, a prestigious group of dudes from the Midlands Enlightenment. That's what Wikipedia tells me, at least; I know nothing about the subject, really. After listening to the album a few times however, I did a little researching to give the lyrics more context, and I can confirm it has all been crafted with a commendable level of attention to detail. Even the album art is exactly right, with the countenances of prominent members of this group displayed in a circle resembling a lunar cycle.
At the time this album was released, I was in something of a slump, letting the grind of full-time employment suck my will to write and perform music. Upon hearing it, I was reinvigorated with creative drive.
In short, I love this album and am quite glad it exists!
I've certainly rambled much more than I intended to.