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[T]he Marshall Pass is a duo from Worcester, Massachusetts who recently released an EP that quickly grabbed my eye, err ear. Months ago within a mixtape I included an early track from this EP titled Abilene. At the time, the band was just forming, and putting material to paper, but now that it’s been fully realized, in a stunning 7 song EP that features multi-instrumentalist Duncan Arsenault and singer Craig Rawding’s finer points.
The Marshall Pass began as a bedroom project of Arsenault’s passing music to fill the void after singer / guitarist, friend and partner, Scott Ricciuti, tragically died in a car accident. This death had a profound effect on Arsenault who passed tracks of his music to friend Craig Rawding who wrote lyrics and melodies that would ultimately become “Abilene,” and “Stranded in Perdition.”
Fueled by this creation the two collaborated in the same way, Arsenault writing instrumental songs and Rawding writing lyrics. This would ultimately lead to what we have here, a beautiful and wonderful tribute to a friend, an EP of songs that were creative catharsis for people longing for their missing friend.
Phantom Train, explores textures of folk music through a sonica space that echoes through a warm and serene space, employing small samples, reverbs, and vocals that seem to perfectly reflect the duo’s loss and creative rebirth. It’s an absolute must listen, as it transports the listener to another place with poignant songwriting and tenderly played music that has a warm inviting feel that introduce you to a serenity that is unparalleled. Rawding’s voice teeters right on the edge between gritty and refined but feels just right for the musical accompaniments from Arsenault as he seems to mix in everything but the kitchen sink bringing in guitars, banjos, slide, bass, piano and percussions that are so tastefully delightful you’ll go back and hear different layers that you may have missed on the first few listens.
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