Will Graefe is a Brooklyn songwriter whose quiet folk-pop ballads conjure a gentle and shy atmosphere that demands intimacy. Predominantly self-recorded while taking refuge in Massachusetts during the pandemic, his second solo record, Marine Life, is a mercurial breakup album comprised of fragile lullabies that speak to his budding compositional skills. It’s a record that is at once comforting and psychologically devastating, simple yet profound. Its songs are formed by the dynamic contrast in Graefe’s cutting, painfully potent lyrics and the pillowy textures of his chilling vocals and masterful guitar work. Front to back, it offers somber soundscapes that allow for healing, such as the gripping “Dead Reckoner” or serene instrumental tracks like “Bathing Griever.” Often times, Graefe’s songs drift into subtle anthemia due to a persistent melodic undercurrent best exemplified on the driving album opener “Almost Morning,” the wistful “Green and Gold,” the brooding “Coral Court Motel,” and in the dreamy harmonies on “Run to You.” Marine Life is a soothing LP that, in the effort to find solace, creates its own calming spell – the mark of a talented collaborator and sideman finding his stride as a songwriter and crafter of sound.
Buy and stream Will Graefe’s new album Marine Life out everywhere on 11A Records.