Monrovia Renaissance Singles Series. Though better known as the force of nature behind the controlled chaos of Sunscribe, the faithful renderings of Toma, and the brutal blues of Skip, Cragoe is also a noted acoustic doodler, delighting in compelling, intricate fingerpicking. For the first time ever released upon the ears of you, the discerning music listener, is a song Cragoe has been holding onto for quite some time. "The Optimistic Song," is deceptively titled in terms of subject matter, but the lyrics are well-crafted and witty. The sighs and subdued delivery make this as much excellent acting as it is suberb singing. The single's b-side was somewhat accidental, arising from a bit of spontaneous inspiration that certainly paid off. This performance of Devendra Banhart's "At the Hop" showcases Cragoe's aforementioned fingerpicking skills as well as a vocal delivery that is somehow soulful and easygoing at the same time. A kazoo-playing tramp managed to sneak past security and weasel his way onto the track (don't tell him we kept his bit in the mix). While we get our Research Department on the task of understanding what we just said, feel free to listen to the single, or download it to listen to it for all of eternity, or for all of your iPod's battery, whichever comes first. Also, be sure to look out for all kinds of stuff from all those bands we mentioned.
Click here to go to the Singles Series page and listen to Will Cragoe
Photo credits go to Matthew Vogel and Megan Stubbs.