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Craig Manning Releases New Album

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Melody Bot, Apr 21, 2016.

  1. Melody Bot

    Your friendly little forum bot. Staff Member

    This article has been imported from for discussion. All of the forum rules still apply.

    Craig Manning, a contributor here, has released a new album on Bandcamp.

    Inspired by the loss of my grandfather, A Way to Get Back Home tackles questions of love, family, home, growing up, leaving it all behind, and knowing when it’s time to come back.

  2. Craig Manning

    @FurtherFromSky Moderator

  3. Ska Senanake


    Will check this out. Craig you always had some of the best write ups on absolutepunk.
    Chase Tremaine likes this.
  4. Craig Manning

    @FurtherFromSky Moderator

    Thanks! Happy to be writing over here now.
    Chase Tremaine and fenway89 like this.
  5. Front page news! Awesome.

    This album is highly recommended.
  6. Steve_JustAGuy


    This guy?!?!

    In all seriousness though, I'll have to give it a listen today. If it's half as good as your write ups it won't disappoint.
    Chase Tremaine and Craig Manning like this.
  7. great album!
    Chase Tremaine and Craig Manning like this.
  8. Craig Manning

    @FurtherFromSky Moderator

    I've hit the big time.

    Thanks again for buying my record. I really do appreciate it.

    So glad you enjoyed it! Any favorite tracks? Definitely value your opinion, since I know how much home recording stuff you do.

    Thanks guys, let me know what you think!
    Chase Tremaine likes this.
  9. Official news status!!!!!
    Craig Manning likes this.
  10. thetruthisvile

    I sing in Sarah and the Safe Word.

    This is excellent.
    Chase Tremaine and Craig Manning like this.
  11. Matt Chylak

    I can always be better, so I'll always try. Supporter

    Congrats on the release! New music is always worth celebrating.

    While reading some of the lyrics I was super into your style/voice/references. Def excited to listen.
    Chase Tremaine and Craig Manning like this.
  12. My pleasure, man. I know what a huge undertaking it is to make your own record. As the previous commenter said, it's worthy of celebration and recognition.

    I listened to the record yesterday and genuinely enjoyed it. I want to give it a few more spins before I offer more detailed feedback, but the songs that stuck out to me most on first listen were "Way Too Long," "A Million Reasons," "Two Lane Road" (the fact that I had already heard these three from the originals comps was a contributing factor, I'm sure), "The Last Gasp of Summer," and "Losers in a Losing Game." Excited to continue diving in.
    Craig Manning and Chase Tremaine like this.
  13. skurt

    Sleekest of beaks. So Good.

    Great record Craig, Two lane Road is my favorite track after a first listen.
    Craig Manning and Chase Tremaine like this.
  14. duritzfan13

    all we have is time

    So excited to check this out. Love Craig's write-ups and we share a lot of taste in music so I'm sure I'll be digging this.
    Craig Manning and Chase Tremaine like this.
  15. I'm only two songs in but this is honestly really good. And I'm not always a fan of this sort of singer-songwriter stuff. The singing and songwriting is very solid.
    Craig Manning and Chase Tremaine like this.
  16. Jake W

    oh my god, I'm back on my bullshit Prestigious

    I only had time to listen to the first few songs, but I liked what I heard, especially track 2. I might have to buy this later.
    Chase Tremaine and Craig Manning like this.
  17. Craig Manning

    @FurtherFromSky Moderator

    It's a big day!

    Thank you!

    It's been a long time coming. Just had to find time to sit down and finally record it, which I did about a month ago. Really happy to finally have something out there.

    I hope you enjoy it. Let me know what you think after you listen!

    I am glad that people are singling out different songs. It's super hard to be objective when it's your own stuff, as I'm sure you know. Jason Isbell said something along those lines to me when I interviewed him last year, about how he "doesn't do the favorite song thing" because if he had a favorite song on one of his records he'd just have to go back and write 10 songs that he liked that much. I don't really have a "favorite" here, so it's nice to know that people are gravitating toward different stuff.

    Thanks! That probably would be the "single" if there was a single. Haha


    Thank you for listening! Hope you continue to enjoy it.

    Humbled by this. Thank you for checking it out.
  18. Mr. Isbell is a wise man. I always think it's fascinating to hear what songs connect with others. I've found that the ones people single out usually are not the ones I would expect. If listeners are singling out a bunch of different songs, that's definitely a good sign!
    Craig Manning and Chase Tremaine like this.
  19. That was a really great Isbell quote. I should re-read that interview! Haha
    Craig Manning likes this.
  20. Craig Manning

    @FurtherFromSky Moderator

    Yeah, for the most part it's not the ones I expected, which is sort of cool. I agree that it's a good sign.

    Well, that one did make the transfer over here, so you always can! He had some cool perspectives on songwriting in there. He also said something about how, in songwriting, it's freeing that you can write a song that is sort of about you, sort of about someone else you know, and sort of fiction. You're not bound to tell the truth or to invent everything out of thin air, but can do a mixture of both. I definitely took that to heart while writing most of this album.
    Chase Tremaine likes this.
  21. Damien Davies

    Rustin' In The Rain Supporter

    Wow Craig! This is awesome!
    Craig Manning likes this.
  22. Craig Manning

    @FurtherFromSky Moderator

    Thanks a ton for checking it out!
  23. quietwords

    RIP EmoPunkKid28: 2002-2016 Prestigious

    Always value your opinions on music, so I'm really looking forward to diving into this!
    Craig Manning likes this.
  24. Craig Manning

    @FurtherFromSky Moderator

    Thanks! Hope you enjoy it.
  25. Hey @Craig Manning, sorry it’s two months late, but I wanted to offer some track-by-track thoughts and feedback on your record. I was able to spend some more time with it recently and I think it’s fantastic.

    1. Way Too Long – This is a great coming of age kind of song. Love the Boss and Don Henley references in the lyrics. Also really like the line about breaking into your high school. I think I made the same comment when you contributed this song to one of the originals comps, but it’s such a universally relatable idea. “You’ve been my world for so long” is probably my favorite line here, performance-wise. The melody and the emotion in your voice grab me at that line every time. All in all, this is a really strong way to kick off the album and it serves as a fitting mission statement for the rest of the record.

    2. The Last Gasp of Summer – I love the title and idea of the “last gasp of summer.” Trying to hold on to those carefree summers and summer relationships is, once again, such a relatable feeling. The lyrics about “pulling down the carnival rides” and “closing up the ice cream shop” are fantastic details that convey both an image and a feeling simultaneously. Also some tasteful lead guitar parts incorporated here.

    3. A Million Reasons – This is one of the strongest choruses on the record, in my opinion. The repetition of the “so I know” melody in the chorus is such an earworm. Just a simple melody utilized perfectly. This is a pretty heartbreaking song (“Now I know no one is coming back for me, and I’ll just be the old man left sitting underneath his willow tree” is a gut punch), but to my ear there’s a little bit of hopefulness in it as well. The last line (“At least I’ll know that I had something perfect, just for a little while”) is a great dichotomy between being resigned to having lost something, but being able to appreciate that you ever had it at all. Good stuff.

    4. Missing the War – Nice fingerpicked guitar in this track that adds a bit of a different flavor to the instrumentation. In my interpretation, there are two halves to this song that explore two sides of the concept of “missing the war.” The first part of the song deals with the downside of being alone or left out of significant experiences. Then the second part starts to examine the value of being able to tune out “the war” with someone else and focus solely on another without all of the distractions of life. I’m not sure if that was your intention (I’m sure there is more nuance to your personal interpretation as the songwriter), but I thought it was a pretty satisfying takeaway for me personally.

    5. Leaving Song – This is a really solid long-distance relationship anthem. Love the end of the chorus with the little pause between “I promise you that this is not goodbye” and “It’s just leaving song.” Well-placed little build of tension there. The falsetto and bits of harmony are really nice touches that add a lot to the middle section of the song.

    6. Two Lane Road – This is a jam. Really catchy melodies throughout (verse, chorus, and bridge are all individually great). The lead guitar lick works so well and the fuzzy production on it gives it really nice character for this track. Also love the line about what cars you drive. There’s so much implied meaning there beyond what is said. Great lyric.

    7. Losers in a Losing Game – Another great story told in this song. Really nice insight into facing and overcoming failure. This is another one of my favorite choruses on the record. The last part of the song is so damn uplifting and triumphant. You can really feel that in the performance and I love it. Well executed.

    8. It’s My House (But I Don’t Live There Anymore) – This is such an interesting song title I wanted to listen carefully to try to decipher the meaning. The guitar picking is really nice part, and I also like the way the vocals overlap a bit from one section to the next. I believe this is the only place on the album where that technique is utilized. Another good coming of age story about the mixed emotions of graduating and leaving the college experience behind for the “nine to fives and suits and ties” and the unknown.

    9. What Do I Do? – This is where the record starts to get tough haha. This feels like one of those songs that was therapeutic to write, and that just had to be written. So many specific details that demonstrate what he meant to you. Devastatingly relatable to anyone who has lost a loved one. The voicemail is an incredibly emotional moment. This one must have been hard for you, but it’s so important.

    10. One Last Ride – I feel like a broken record, but this is such a relatable experience to so many people. An ode to a car that has so many memories attached to it. I love the “45-mile-an-hour town” lyric as well as the Springsteen and Dylan references that are kind of a hat-tip to some of the songs that soundtracked those drives.

    11. Carry It Forth – This one isn’t nearly as hard to get through as “What Do I Do?” It’s another fantastic memorial to what sounds like an undeniably great man. Honestly, there are too many well-written lyrics in this one for me to single any out. From beginning to end, this song is just a series of touching moments, one after another. This song must mean so much to your family. What a tribute.

    12. A Way to Get Back Home – Such a pretty song and a fitting conclusion to the album. Accurately captures the feelings of growing apart from family and wanting to hold onto those simpler times when you were all together, even though you know you can’t go back. The guitar with the slapback/echo effect is a really nice touch that is reminiscent of a memory or flashback. This song works great as the album closer.

    Overall, a cohesive, enjoyable album. All of the themes that you explore in these songs tie together really well. The ones about your grandfather are so powerful. You can tell who your musical influences are, but you’re drawing inspiration from them and not just imitating them. I think the minimal production with mostly just acoustic guitar and vocals really fits the subject matter and the lyrical content. And your voice is definitely strong enough to serve as the focal point of the songs.

    I’m glad I spent some time with this and I will definitely be revisiting it in the future. Hope you continue to write and release music! I’ll definitely be on board to check out anything else you release.
    Craig Manning likes this.