The Latest

Album Reviews!!!

Publications have started to review and comment on Dark Corners:

Middle Tennessee Music:

Dark Corners tells the story of a cargo boat captain as he sets sail and faces the unknown, his frustration with being stranded within view of his destination, and the loneliness felt when separated from your loved one by a huge body of water.

The instrumentation is superb and unorthodox, the emotions are raw, the energy leaps from the speakers and infects you as a beautiful, well-crafted, stylistically unique wave of frequencies engages your senses from the very beginning of Chapter 1 (Intro) until the last notes of Chapter 8 (Leaving Now).

I have not heard anything like Dark Corners before. The melting pot of instrumentation, textured layers and sprinkled sonic nuances leave my mind unable to make comparisons or even label this music with a genre.

Huffington Post:

The second track is called “Go,” a laid-back tune heavy with an Americana influence. The piano drives the melody, which is poignant; and there are some excellent guitar licks on the solo, courtesy of Marc Ford.

Obscure Sound:

Produced by indie-rock great John Vanderslice, It’s Just Craig’s new album Dark Corners tells the story of a cargo boat captain and his journey. From temptations of the sea to losing control of choice, the release melds lyrical wit with an atmospheric creakiness, from the sparse acoustical rise of “Alone” to the glistening synth-laden rainfall-like cascading on “Goodnight”. Lush vocals and developmental songwriting remain constant, making it an enjoyably retrospective listen that never forces anything. “Goodnight”, in particular with its male-female vocal duet power and outstanding production of the climatic whirring emerging around 01:05, is a very memorable effort that will hook many into the album.

Substream Magazine:

Indianapolis, Indiana and Nashville, Tennessee band It’s Just Craig is gearing up to release a brand new album, titled Dark Corners, on June 30. Mostly a conceptual release, the album features 10 tracks of experimental, Americana-tinged indie rock.

Fans of various bands ranging from I Monster to Eels will find some solace in the sounds of It’s Just Craig.

The Music Court:

When listening to It’s Just Craig, listeners can draw similarities between their sound and the sounds of Mother, the early sound of Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the softness of Stars. Although, one only gets a glimpse of the journey of the path of a man at sea through the track Goodnight, the album Dark Corners takes listeners on a story of transformation and life at sea of a captain. Further emphasizing on their signature sound, it is no surprise that their production team, citing specifically John Vanderslice have carved their way into the music industry producing Spoon, Deathcab for Cutie, and St. Vincent just to name a few. It’s Just Craig reveals several parts of the human condition, journey, and themes of self-realization in this latest release.

Sensible Reason :

Having a unique artistic vision for an album is always important, in my opinion. With this latest album, It’s Just Craig captures a certain sense of brooding wonderment that will pique the interest of any indie rock lover. Dark Corners depicts the story of a cargo boat captain and his journey. From the moment he leaves home – both excited and full of reservations – on a sometimes lonely path, getting stranded within view of his destination port, fighting temptations of the sea, struggling with being out of touch with his partner on land, and ultimately deciding whatever it was he was deciding, only to learn that the decision may no longer be his to make.

Craig has a deep belief that music should not be stripped of its soul; and therefore, the band takes a very rugged approach to music production and recording. They approached Dark Corners much like their first album, lots of live tracking, very few takes, minimal overdubs, 100% analog – again Marc Ford is on guitar, Elijah Ford is on bass, piano and electric/acoustic guitars, Craig plays guitar and sings, Jason Slota on drums, Rob Shelton on keys, John Vanderslice producing, mixing and playing keys on “Goodnight” (with Rob Shelton) and adding for this album Jess Von Strantz and Kels Von Strantz on vocals and vocals/cello, respectively.

New Sick Music:

Let’s get into concept again, this time with the Americana semi-gothic album Dark Corners by It’s Just Craig — a six member collaboration that is decidedly more than “just” Craig. The album follows the captain of a cargo boat as he leaves his life on the shore for life on the seas to melancholic results, but the tracks reach beyond their narrative to grip you in a way not too different from artists like Damien Rice or Ryan Adams.

The tracks are smooth and often feature vocal duets. Piano welcomes us to the album on “Intro” and slides into “Go”. By “Alone”, the soft complexity that is a result of live tracking and limited takes is present. But the album doesn’t stick to this gentleness, and moves into jazzy territory on “Captain” and even retro-synth sounds with “Siren Sings”. It’s Just Craig have no intention to be a one note band, so they even dip into experimental: “Rain Never Came” uses the music to recreate the power of a thunderstorm as the vocals deadpan like Lou Reed and keep a minimalism until the track breaks open.

East Coast Rocker

Americana, Goth Country, or whatever label you want to put on the genre, is all about drawing the emotional heart out of the everyday, both when it comes to words and music. It’s Just Craig takes the premise and adds a modern sense of production. Craig et al specialize in catchy hooks and songs that are more complex than they first sound, with a soft rather than strident approach to vocals. There are jazzy riffs in songs like Captain and Siren Sings, with a lot of rhythmic variation throughout all the tracks.

Art & Culture Maven :

Enjoyably inventive within a traditional genre, Dark Corners is the second release for the ensemble It’s Just Craig, the brainchild of Craig Helmreich. The Intro sets the tone with a fuzzy antique piano line and leads into Go, the next track. The song builds on a minimalist acoustic opening, shuffling in a languid pace to a lush arrangement that includes keyboards and jangling guitar.

Americana, Goth Country, or whatever label you want to put on the genre, is all about drawing the emotional heart out of the everyday, both when it comes to words and music. It’s Just Craig takes the premise and adds a modern sense of production. Craig et al specialize in catchy hooks and songs that are more complex than they first sound, with a soft rather than strident approach to vocals. There are jazzy riffs in songs like Captain and Siren Sings, with a lot of rhythmic variation throughout all the tracks.

Goodnight is the lead single from the release, a synthy, danceable track with a stuttering percussion line and lyrics that are typical of the album’s understated sentiment.

Album Release Information – Release Show Tickets Now Available

It’s Just Craig’s album Dark Corners will be released FREE to everyone in attendance at the Hi-Fi on Friday June 30, 2017.  Everyone through the doors at HiFi Indy in Fountain Sq. gets the album on CD and digital download as part of their $10 ticket!  Plus, performances by Von Strantz, Jeff Kelly, The McDonalds and It’s Just Craig!!!

Get your tickets here (last year sold out)!!!!

Follow us on Spotify to be alerted as soon as Dark Corners is available!!!

Album #2 is on Tape!

The story and thank yous:

https://itsjustcraigofficial.wordpress.com/musings/

Video Teaser

IMG_3223.JPG

We’re Doing It Again…

As you may have heard, It’s Just Craig returns to the studio (Tiny Telephone in Oakland, CA) to record their sophomore album, Dark Corners 3.31.2017.  Joining Craig, as was the case on Blood On The Table, are Elijah Ford, Marc Ford, Jason Slota, and Rob Shelton.  The album will again be produced by the wonderful John Vanderslice, this time with assistance from Jacob Winik (but you can call him Wink.  Wink is a genius!!!). Oh yeah, Jess and Kelsey from Von Strantz are coming and will be featured on the album!!!  We can’t wait to share new music with you this summer!!!!!!

Our First Year of Live Shows…

After not initially planning any shows, It’s Just Craig has had a wonderful first year of live performances.  A  sold out Vinyl Release Show at the HiFi, two shows with SoFar Indianapolis, an appearance and interview on the DoitIndy Radio Hour, benefit performances for Louisiana (flood relief) and Tennessee (fire relief), and opening for Jenny O. and Robert Ellis at Square Cat Vinyl all highlighted our first year.

We’ve already got two shows lined up for this year:

5.13.2017  Virginia Ave Folk Fest

6.30.2017  Album Release Show (To be officially announced soon!!!)

Below are some photos and videos from those performances:

HiFi Photos by Kyle Helmond of Kyle Helmond Photography and Jon-Tyler Core.

SoFar Indianapolis Photos by Jessica Bishop of Just Jess Photography.

Square Cat Vinyl Photos by Tim McLaughlin of Hapless Guitar Photography and Sarah Smith.

HiFi video by Focus Right Productions.