Martin Crane, who makes music as Brazos, followed his 2009 album “Phosphorescent Blues” in May with “Saltwater” (his first album on Austin-based label Dead Oceans). The former was varied, with hushed and haunting pop, a sad piano piece, elements of Americana and a general layer of melancholy blanketing the music. In contrast, the opening bars of “Always On,” the first track on “Saltwater,” reveal something different, a bright, bustling approach.
On “How The Ranks Was Won,” Crane tells the story of a ghost ship atop glimmering pop; “Valencia” rises and falls with a guitar line that vaguely recalls African highlife music. Not that Crane purged all of the darkness. The title track references “Moby Dick” and its soul-searching theme.
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