The Oarsman lead singer Marcus Christopher Maloney’s voice is therapy at its cheapest. No alcohol is needed to sink into the quiet misery from which the listener ultimately lifts hope from the beautifully mundane topics about which Maloney sings.
On the Folk band’s debut full-length album, Writing House, you’ll find acoustic guitar, simple drums and whistling. Whistling is cool, right? But there’s something more surreal to this trio’s brand of Folk. It’s dreamy and lazy, like sleeping under a summer sun.
When the Michigan native and his band shuffle through our fair city this week, MOTR couldn’t be a more perfect place to witness the performance. Everything about the music on Writing House beckons you to sink in and just listen. Even “Waltz for Harry” (which is, indeed, a waltz), with its one-two-three push, will stir you to tap along. The Oarsman’s music is not so much an escape from reality as a coming to terms with it.
If The Oarsman were an adventure, it would be chasing the sunset toward an unknown destination. The band is all golden and orange and teary smiles for reasons you couldn’t possibly explain to anyone else. But Maloney gets it. He knows your heart and he’s singing it for you.
THE OARSMAN performs Wednesday, Dec. 11, at MOTR Pub in Over-the-Rhine. Click here for more info.