Ben Kamen’s music is filled with the mystery and subtle longing of artists much fuller in sound. One thinks of classically-based folk-rockers like Thee Silver Mt. Zion, for one. And while Kamen’s music may feature a plethora of instruments matching the quantitative levels of such groups, his music is beautifully quiet. Dreams may have come out last year, but its relevance is still new — it seems few outside the Pacific Northwest are aware of the bolstering happenings in Olympia, WA, and it’s a right tragedy.
Dreams comes from Kamen’s collective of greatness, Anonymous Monk, and it features five tracks that, while each filled with various instruments, give off an aura of minimalism. Opening track “Clouds & Snow” has a beautiful chorus, while the brief moments of harmony vocals in “Lost + Finding” and “Devoted To Change” lift the songs to greatness. There is extensive attention to detail on Dreams, as Kamen and company places each note specifically in its appropriate spot.
“Where The Horizons Longing” finds the EP building in volume; mysterious, drawn-out notes sound a haunting cry while Ben Kamen’s vocals find likeness to Phil Elverum (Microphones, Mount Eerie). Kamen’s music, too, fits a more northwest folk classification. The EP concludes, fittingly, with beautiful and intricate title track “Dreams”. Kamen may be fairly new to the independent music scene, but his music shows the maturity and thoughtfulness of a highly experienced musician and songwriter.
Ben Kamen: Clouds & Snow [mp3]
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Ben Kamen: Where The Horizons Longing [mp3]
[audio:090727_ben_kamen-where_the_horizons_longing.mp3|titles=Where The Horizons Longing|artists=Ben Kamen]
Anonymous Monk [Digital EP, 2008]
1. Clouds & Snow
2. Lost + Finding
3. Devoted To Change
4. Where The Horizons Longing