Stargazer

by Sean Kammer

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about

A work of endless nuance, the songs on STARGAZER sound at once organic and ethereal. Kammer’s understated vocals and hypnotic guitar strum rise above swirling reverberations of unknown origins.

After a brief overture, a djembe drum announces the beginning of “Believe,” in which Kammer seems to be trying to sing himself out of a state of doubt, despair, and indifference over an innovative tapestry of harmonicas. The spoken-word-verses of “Humility” eschew saccharine sentimentality in favor of brutal honesty as the vocalist bids a final farewell to an unforgotten friend. This interesting juxtaposition of irony and earnestness leads into “Congratulations,” a strong song with a faint feeling of claustrophobia. Abrasive echoes of unintelligible phrases bleed through the mix as Kammer sings of darting eyes and cloudy nights. “You Don’t Cry,” perhaps the album’s most accessible track, showcases Kammer’s keen sense of melody and verse, with a heavier assault from the paranoiac voices of “Believe” taking over the song’s closing moments.

A cohesive musical statement, STARGAZER'S connective tissues reveal reverse melodies and fleeting reprisals, particularly in the disc’s concluding title-trilogy. The CD’s namesake tracks are linked by intricately interwoven leitmotifs and rhythms, all of which are performed by Kammer. “Stargazer I (Overlook)” is driven by the wail of his slow, yearning electric guitar and poignant piano chords. “Stargazer II” features one of Kammer’s most beautiful chord sequences and perhaps his most plaintive vocal performance, delicately delivered in a heart-broken croak that calls to mind a tenor translation of Leonard Cohen. The weight of the album’s cumulative melancholy is leavened by the song’s final line: “somewhere there’s a star we can reach.” The haunting closer “Stargazer III (End Game)” features one of only three contributions to the disc by another musician. Brian Ullman’s double and triple ebow guitar lines—reminiscent of Kammer’s own approach to harmonica accompaniment—will linger with listeners long after Stargazer reaches its end.

-David Ullman, August 2006

credits

released August 31, 2006

All songs by Sean Kammer.

Additional Musicians: Nick Robinson performed bass guitar on "Believe," Katie Hanson performed vocals on "Humility," and Brian Ullman performed bass and electric guitar on "Stargazer III (Endgame)."

Album artwork designed by Sarah Eurek and Sean Kammer.

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Dreaming Out Loud Records Rittman, Ohio

All music. No business. Always-free-to-download music from a prolific group of friends raised in Northeast Ohio--preserved from the highest quality elements available and presented with supplementary media-rich PDF liner notes filled with images, lyrics, and interviews to enhance listeners' appreciation of the artists' vision. ... more

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Track Name: Believe
All my words sound the same to me now.
You know me too well to believe.
Stare through windows on the ceiling.
They don’t close on me.
This is not the only way to be.
Is this all you can do to believe?
All the stars look the same to me now.
They’re all just out of reach.
I lie down and wait for morning.
Hasn’t dawned on me.
This is not the only way to be.
Is this all you can do to believe?
Track Name: Humility
I cross my tees and dot my eyes so I can be saved
I love you more now than ever
You can never breathe easy in this place
Be more like me
Humility

Hallelujah
Hallelujah

I wish you could be more like me, more like me
I wish you could find Jesus in me
I wish you well
I wish you could see things like me
Be like me
Humility
Track Name: Congratulations
Congratulations
You're my drug of choice
I can sing to you
I don't need a voice
If we walk real slow
They won't know we're gone
Nobody's looking
Their eyes race along

I can't explain to you tonight
The sky is covered in clouds tonight

These crooked lines
They're drawn on the ground
Stand in your place
With love we all spin around

I can't explain to you tonight
The sky is covered in clouds tonight
I can't see through the smoke tonight
Track Name: You Don’t Cry
You go where you want to go
You know you're not too old to fly
You don't cry

You stow your heart away
Take your pills
Watch your thrills go away
They always go away
You don't cry

You know all you need to know
The snow on the trees turns to green on a new day
There's a new day
You don't cry
Track Name: Stargazer I (Overlook)
I can see for miles and miles.
I can’t see you.
I can see for miles and miles.
I need you.

Rivers freeze and water falls,
but it’s all too slow to be planned.
Mountains crumble under your weight.
It’s all so fast.

I can see for miles and miles.
I can’t see you.
I can see for miles and miles.
I can’t find your love.
Track Name: Stargazer II
Somewhere there’s a star we can reach.
Lost in the echo or somewhere in between.
Caught in the madness of another day gone bad.
Is this all we ever had?

The smoke is always happy, so it seems.
Lifts from my eyes and into a dream.
Circles in a time that passed me by.
I don’t want to say goodbye.
Goodbye.

Footnote in your bio, I’ve become.
Pages of discovery, I can be someone.
I say you need me but it’s a lie.
I don’t want to say goodbye.
Goodbye.

Somewhere there’s a star we can reach…