Australian musician Erica Bramham marks the end of The Song-Chain Project with the release of her sophomore album, Songs From A Midnight Room.
In 2017 Erica Bramham attempted to write a song every day of the year as part of The Song-Chain Project, a gruelling and inspiring creative challenge that produced 180 songs, soundscapes, free improvisations, musical poems, nonsense, noise and other pieces of musical art.
A video performance of each song was shared on the day it was written, and Bramham documented the highs and lows of her journey in a daily blog. Journalist Nikos Fotakis called the Project "a gesture of brutal honesty that shed light onto the creative process, the struggle, the joy, the inspiration, the limitations, the inevitable block".
Songs From A Midnight Room is a collection of music to come out of the Song-Chain Project. It follows Bramham's critically acclaimed debut release, Twelve Moons, which was named alongside David Bowie and Vijay Iyer as one of the top ten releases of 2016 on All About Jazz, with UK critic Phil Barnes calling it it "a fine record of forward looking modern vocal jazz that shows a way to make interesting, lyrically inventive improvised music”.
Stylistically, Songs From A Midnight Room draws as much from folk music as it does jazz. There are hints of Joni Mitchell, Jeff Buckley and Nick Drake in the compositions and arrangements, and in Bramham's attention to detail as a lyricist. There is also plenty of room for improvisation and experimentation in the music, which sees Erica effortlessly blur the lines between singer-songwriter and jazz musician.
The double album features Bramham on voice, guitar and mandolin, alongside Adam Spiegl on guitar and bass and Justin Olsson on drums. The trio recordings are interspersed with intimate duets between Bramham and Spiegl, as well as solo vocal explorations that let Erica's poetic lyrics and warm, clear voice take centre stage.
Songs From A Midnight Room will be available May 6 2018 on Lungmoss Records, with a launch gig to follow on May 9 at Melbourne's Paris Cat Jazz Club.
Composition, voice, mandolin, acoustic & electric guitar
Electric guitar & bass
Recording & mixing
Callum Barter at Newmarket Studios
Album Launch: May 9 at The Paris Cat in Melbourne
Erica Bramham’s website
Album Preview on Soundcloud
Songs From A Midnight Room EPK Video
The Song-chain Project
Reviews & interviews
Erica Bramham is a critically acclaimed multi-instrumentalist and composer from Melbourne, Australia. Poetic, inventive and uniquely personal, her work crosses the boundaries between jazz, traditional folk and experimental art music, showcasing her finesse as a lyricist and a captivating performance style that blends song with spoken word and extended vocal technique.
Her debut album, Twelve Moons, was named alongside David Bowie and Vijay Iyer as one of the top ten releases of 2016 on All About Jazz, with UK critic Phil Barnes calling it "a fine record of forward looking modern vocal jazz that shows a way to make interesting, lyrically inventive improvised music” and signalling Bramham as a talent to watch.
In 2017 Erica embarked on The Song-Chain Project, an ambitious creative mission to compose, record and share a new piece of music every day for 365 days. The project was a chance to explore the depths of creativity and the challenges that can hinder it, and provided a unique insight into the creative process at work.
Since completing The Song-Chain Project Bramham has continued her explorations into creativity beyond the project, addressing the topic regularly through freelance writing and her podcast Mind Over Myth. She is currently working on her second album, a selection of works written as part of the Song-Chain Project, to be released mid 2018 through Lungmoss Records.
“An irresistible songstress, owing more to Joni Mitchell than Nina Simone, Erica has the kind of voice that you wish could be there to tuck you in each night – until you realize, that is, that the words coming out of her mouth tell stories that start with teeth biting into your flesh. Enter at your own peril, but make sure to enter.”
“an extremely promising singer-songwriter … Bramham clearly has talent and it will be fascinating to see what she comes up with next.”