Old Sea Brigade has shared “Nothing Clever”, a moving ballad which meditates on growing together, told through a series of vignettes set over the course of a long-term relationship.
“Nothing Clever” follows “Day By Day” as the most recent advance track from Old Sea Brigade’s new album Motivational Speaking, out May 14th.
With wurlitzer and cello leading the way, “Nothing Clever” flashes snapshots of “a terrified kid…working out if we’re allowed to say the things we feel out loud” to the gradual shift from “starting this thing on fire” to “a quiet glow” and the comforts and insecurities that come with settling down together…
“Initially, I set out to write a love song about telling someone you love them for the first time without actually saying ‘I love you’ or ever mentioning the word ‘love’ in the lyrics,” says Old Sea Brigade’s Ben Cramer. “As my co-writer Henry Brill and I dove more in, the song became more about the different phases of a relationship.”
Set against the backdrop of 8 South in the Georgia-born musician’s adopted hometown of Nashville, “Nothing Clever” also sees Old Sea Brigade backed by some of the city’s most lauded musicians including bass from the legendary Eli Beaird (Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Charley Pride), cello from Cara Fox (Jack White, Old 97s) and drums from fellow Nashville-via-Georgia musician Julian Dorio – of Eagles of Death Metal and The Whigs.
Motivational Speaking comes on the heels of a breakout run for Old Sea Brigade, who has been taken on the road by songwriting contemporaries like Julien Baker, Hiss Golden Messenger and John Paul White. Most recently, he released a collaborative EP called All The Ways You Sing In The Dark with regular tour mate Luke Sital-Singh over quarantine, while continuing to expand and rework Motivational Speaking with longtime production partner Owen Lewis. In addition to his solo work, Old Sea Brigade has also produced artists from around the world who stop by his Nashville home studio to collaborate – including Australians Angie McMahon and Lawson Hull, London’s John Joseph Brill, Montreal’s The Franklin Electric and rising talent from his local community like Angel Snow and Hardcastle.