MP3 James Mason - Carnival Sky
Stark, atmospheric song structures with intricate acoustic and electric guitars, imagistic lyrics, and ambient instrumentation. It''s an album that begs for headphones, a blue sky or a slow drive.
10 MP3 Songs in this album (30:17) !
Related styles: FOLK: Alternative Folk, ROCK: Acoustic
People who are interested in Elliott Smith Nick Drake Sparklehorse should consider this download.
Carnival Sky was written, recorded, and produced by James at his home on a small 10-track recorder:
“Carnival Sky''s true beauty…is the raw nature of the songs and the recording. This is an album free of synths, loops and electronic bleeps, devoid of extraneous overdubs and noise. Mason offers only the trembling musical core of his work, placing it gently before the listener. It''s an album that begs for headphones, a blue sky or a slow drive…it works perfectly" (Splendid Review of Carnival Sky).
Several tracks on this record feature James’ brother, classically-self-trained guitarist and luthier Christian Mason. On these collaborative tracks, both brothers were surprised to find that they had penned a unique and striking sound. With two finger-picked acoustic guitars playing in unison, the brothers created an arresting, acoustic wall of sound. Above this sweet, yet stark wash of acoustic harmonization were James’ hushed vocals:
“I will point out two folk heroes as references here, Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan…Like great casks of bitter wine, their voices have become fuller and deeper (and some might say sweeter) over so many years. But it seems that…Mason''s voice has already reached that vast, reverse pinnacle of maturation far ahead of its scheduled time” (Shmat Records Review of Carnival Sky).
The subtle beauty of Carnival Sky was affirmed in reviews from all over the United States, drawing favorable comparisons to the late Nick Drake, the late Elliott Smith, and Roger Waters of Pink Floyd. The record even made a splash overseas, with orders and reviews coming in from as far away as Greece, Belgium, and Luxembourg. The brothers went on to play short string of shows in Virginia, DC, and North Carolina, opening up for acts such as Songs:Ohia (Magnolia Electric Company, Secretly Canadian Records) They often enlisted the help of long time friend and collaborator Mike Reina (Phaser, DC, Emperor Norton Records), who augmented live shows with his shimmering organ work. Even without extensive touring the record made an impact, charting on CMJ reporting stations across the nation, including WXYC (Chapel Hill, NC). Everyone involved was pleasantly surprised with the level and nature of the attention, especially after only five local shows and minimal grassroots publicity.
Brothers James and Christian Mason soon formed "Mason Brothers" and released their debut album The Sun, the Moon & the Sea. This album showcases the brothers'' acoustic leanings, with elaborate finger-picked guitars, splashes of lap steel, percussion, and piano. Also featured on this record are the brothers'' stark, imagistic, yet hopeful lyrics:
“…a revelatory listening experience, a new release that sounds absolutely timeless on first listen. The Mason Brothers have succeeded in wrestling new magic out of the universal, resulting in a new universe with a brighter sun, a higher moon and a deeper sea” (Richmond Times Dispatch, Ryan Muldoon).
“The Sun, the Moon & the Sea is one of the best folk/acoustic records to come in some time” (https://www.tradebit.com, Julie Thanki).
“The Sun, the Moon & the Sea is cinematic folk music, rich and deliberately crafted, with guitars and voices woven tightly together. It’s something a visionary movie director would do well to notice…a tremendous debut” (Catfish Vegas).
“The Sun, The Moon & The Sea is a soundtrack for soft, sepia-toned memories…an indie-folk opus of gentle, finger-picked acoustic guitars and occasional touches of piano, percussion, and lap steel…like being wrapped in a cozy, warm blanket in a place you feel safe…this is not just another alt. folk record” (Brick Weekly, Sarah Shay).