Local Indianapolis singer-songwriter Crescent Ulmer recently released a new EP that showcases a powerfully soulful voice.
This week, just like last, we’re continuing to bring you some of the best music that Indy has to offer. And there’s a lot out there that’s worth listening to. The sheer amount of talent that can be found in the middle of the heartland is astounding sometimes. And today’s song of the day is just another example of an artist you should be on the lookout for in Indianapolis.
Our song of the day today is “Like That”, from Crescent Ulmer’s most recent EP, “After All We’ve Been Through”. But before we get into the song itself, here’s a quick rundown on Crescent Ulmer.
Crescent Ulmer is an Indianapolis-native singer and songwriter who travels like a folk troubadour. His debut album, “Creature Comforts” was funded by a successful crowdfunding campaign after Ulmer was voted Bloomington’s best songwriter in 2014. But even before that album, Ulmer was putting out music on Bandcamp. He released one EP, “Living Room Demos” in 2010, and the single “Futility” in 2013.
After “Creature Comforts”, Crescent Ulmer released a three-track promo demo in 2016. Then, just last August, Ulmer came out with another EP, “After All We’ve Been Through”. However, this one wasn’t released under the name Crescent Ulmer, but Crescent and the Tall Boys, Ulmer’s new band.
Even aside from his music career, Ulmer is quite involved in the Indianapolis community. When he’s not performing or recording music, he’s helping to put out fires as a member of the Indianapolis Fire Department.
Crescent Ulmer and the Tall Boys’ seven-track EP, “After All We’ve Been Through” is a work of joy and soul wrapped together. And their track “Like That” is one of their best.
Much like Ulmer’s previous work, “Like That” is a track that blends multiple styles together for a unique and uplifting sound. Between the bars, you can hear traces of soul, R&B, indie rock, and pop coming through.
Musically, the song revolves around a central, catchy guitar riff that repeats throughout the verses. The groove it establishes is almost insidious in how it worms its way into your brain. But the song doesn’t really kick off until Ulmer’s voice rings through. The amount of control Ulmer displays over his voice is incredible. It’s tone comes out both smooth and smoky in the verses, but then belts out in the chorus, demonstrating both his range and power.
The lyrics to “Like That” reveal it to be somewhere in the middle between a love song and a break up song. It recounts a journey from the beginning of a relationship to the end.
“Baby girl, saw you comin’ / Saw you comin’ from a mile away / And call me shameless, call me whatever / All I know, I had to know your name”.
With the chorus, “Baby, why you got to do me like that?” repeated, it’d be safe to lump this song in with countless others just like it that have been written over the years. But it’s also an example of an artist expressing themselves and their truth. And heartbreak is not cliche, but a timeless, universal theme.
While I’ve definitely heard songs much like this one, Crescent Ulmer and the Tall Boys’ “Like That”, does have that special quality to it that erases any disregard I might have. If I had to attribute that indescribable feeling to something, it’s probably a combination of that catchy riff, and Ulmer’s magnetic vocals. The fact that “Like That” rings out genuine and authentic doesn’t hurt, either. Maybe it says something about us all, that when we hear another human being bearing out their soul, we can’t help but be drawn to it. Whatever it is, Crescent Ulmer and the Tall Boys have it.
Finally, if you’re looking for more coverage on the Indy music scene, be sure to check out the LemonWire Music Corner, where we’re bringing in local Indianapolis artists and showcasing their talents.