Stream When I Was a Child
The mid 2000’s produced a crop of excellent musicians from Florence, SC who have changed the landscape of indie music in South Carolina. From the under-appreciated band Thief, the aptly named Elim Bolt, and the humid southern folk of Susto, Austin Crane came out of the same harvest of musicians who often performed and played with each other in their teenage years. All of their journeys are now a decade in the making, with Crane’s winding to Seattle and this new album.
In everything that Crane’s ever written, whether it be his solo material or under the Valley Maker moniker, his music carries the weight of his travels and relationships. When I Was a Child carries beacons of his travels in each song, whether it was his post grad world travels from Colorado to Bulgaria, his time spent in Kentucky, and now in Seattle, this album is an album with a huge perspective on life, religion, and relationships new and old.
To call this Valley Maker’s sophomore album isn’t fair. Taking off from the popularity of his band which performed under his name, the first self titled album was narratives from the book of Genesis, part of Crane’s senior thesis at the University of South Carolina. Lyrically Crane took a break from more personal songwriting on the debut Valley Maker album, he’s still there below the surface, but while he was tackling ancient stories and themes it was his guitar style that came into its own. Crane started to write in open tunings more, a sound that’s come to define Valley Maker’s haunting style, and he started to rely much more on electric guitar over his acoustic. (There’s an old comment on the site that says “Austin went electric, what a Judas!”) The development in his playing matched development in his voice, always unique, but one that’s still gradually gaining strength.
After completing his master’s degree at University of Kentucky in Lexington, Crane entertained several possibilities for his PhD. The vibrant music scene of the Pacific Northwest influenced his decision to choose University of Washington, where he recently completed his course work and will begin research in Human Geography – a field which happily affords him more opportunities to ask big questions. Balancing the two disciplines suits him fine. “My two favorite things to do are write and play music and to think, learn, and have conversations about social and political issues that matter for people’s lives.”
This paragraph in his bio points strongly to what draws people into Crane’s music. You’re listening to a deep thinker who writes and plays music as a way to connect with listeners on issues he and the listener care deeply about. It’s what always kept us coming back for more.
We’ve done our best to document Valley Maker and Austin Crane over the years. Check out some of the songs below as they’ve developed into what they are on this record.
“Take My People Dancing”