Relaxed by Craft

Logan Holmes, aka SB, knew what he was doing when he titled his debut solo cassette Relaxed by Craft. Against a backdrop of smooth, slow guitar tones and a sparse yet tight rhythm section, he meanders his way through eight brief tracks, with only the single-ready “submarine” reaching past the three-minute mark. But this is hardly a detriment. Atmosphere is key and consistent, and the hazy mixing allows for palpable warmth from each instrument. While the release is somewhat similar to the music of Jons, of which Holmes is a member, it differs in its intimacy and its simplicity. A more apt comparison is that of Real Estate in their low-fi days: guitar-led, groovy numbers peppered with laidback musings. The only real flaw of Relaxed by Craft is that it follows through a bit too fully on its promise. Holmes notes that “if I get lazy, it’s here that I’ll stay,” but that needn’t be the case. Several moments, like the evocative, rippling textures on “relax” or the jangly intro track “thunderbird,” suggest that there is something simmering beneath the seemingly placid surface of the SB sound. It would be interesting to see what emerges.

– Chris Anhorn

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