Some thirteen years ago now, the Toms River (by way of Jackson), New Jersey-rooted singer/songwriter, Brian Ciamarra, invited a friend over to hang. When that friend left, he accidentally left his guitar behind. That was all it took.
In hindsight, it’s safe to say that iamCURBIE—a moniker that is the combination of a childhood nickname and a misunderstanding with a gig promoter—was born in that moment. After a stint with a covers/originals band, and a few recorded projects with which he wasn’t completely satisfied, CURBIE knew it was time to get serious about doing things as a solo artist.
In true labor-of-love fashion, taking five years to write, record and produce, Ciamarra is set to release his official debut, solo album, Better Late Than Forever, a project whose content covers topics from drinking too much booze, to the experience of fatherhood, and much that resides in the vast expanse between the two.
“Some of these were at one time a social media bitch—turned song…”
—Brian Ciamarra, regarding his album, Better Late Than Forever
HERE’S WHAT WE DUG MOST…
Opening with 1:19 of instrumental blues-folk on, Better Late Than Forever, I’m telling you, I felt the 5-year journey that was the making of the album in this short opener. It’s well done and made me wish it was longer, while simultaneously anticipating the next track.
“There’s only one option for me
It’s to give all I got and hope I succeed
Failure may happen, but I got an Ego to Feed”
—iamCURBIE, Ego To Feed
The percussive and rhythmic, Currents, immediately brings to mind the likes of veteran indie-folk pioneers, Patchouli, in this dark and beautiful ode to dangerous love.
Once again, totally digging the percussive elements in, Keep Moving. Lyrically interchangeable for the love of a partner or a child, the melody is sad and hopeful all at once.
The fun ode to bar-townies, Spirits (Maggie), has a light and airy, “can’t we all just get along” vibe about it, which shows an articulate depth to CURBIE’s ability to transpose what he sees in the world around him.
OUR FAVORITE TRACK…
I love this stuff. You see, CURBIE is a loop-artist. Meaning he uses a looping pedal to create repeating rhythms and melodies in a layering affect. In Snapback, an ambient chord progression and a bit of vocal delay unite with some looped, beat-boxed percussive elements to create a really wonderful song about the importance of acknowledging when we’ve taken our favorites for grated.
Complete with a cameo from his baby boy, 159, offers Brian’s most impressive execution on the acoustic guitar, during what is yet another loving dedication…
“So bring on the sleepless nights
I resign from my former life so I
Can be the dad I need to be…”
OUR “OTHER” FAVORITE TRACK…
Ending the project with the gorgeously dark and bluesy, Harley’s Edge III F.I.P., Ciamarra sends you packing with a touch of electric blues and just a smattering of digital effects in this tale of lost love. Be sure to stick around ’til the very end…
“I can see it, I can touch it, I can taste it, and when I come face to face, I ain’t gonna waste it.”
Successfully projecting the hope and tension of one’s own life onto an album is a lofty goal. To that end, we found this music to be tortured and elated, fresh and weathered, distraught and inspired, as iamCURBIE lays emotions on his sleeve and bares all in his debut, solo album, Better Late Than Forever.
Substantive, heartfelt writing combine with solid, minimalist execution and production to create a percussively-driven collection that will keep the rest of your acoustic-chill playlist entries in profoundly good company. All in all, it can be safely said that those five years which Ciamarra invested into this album were worth the wait.
Jason Mraz meets Patchouli…
BELOW: Check out our full artist interview with iamCURBIE, listen to his album, Better Late Than Forever, connect with his website and social media platforms, watch his music video, check out his live show/tour schedule, and find his booking & contact information. Please support iamCURBIE by visiting him online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing his music. And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!
Listen to our artist interview with iamCURBIE:
Listen to iamCURBIE’s album, Better Late Than Forever:
Follow, stream, download & connect with iamCURBIE:
Watch iamCURBIE’s music video for the song Currents:
Check out iamCURBIE’s live show/tour schedule:
Booking & contact information for iamCURBIE:
Email: iamcurbie (at) gmail.com