The Coin, The Prayer & The Crow is the sixth collection from singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Tom Eure. Eure’s decorated career in music has brought him appearances as a session musician on over forty albums since he first debuted professionally and his run of individualistic and artistically satisfying releases continues with this mix of lyrically driven numbers alongside invariably shorter instrumentals, albeit with exceptions.
There’s an effective mix of material on The Coin, the Prayer & the Crow that retains fidelity to the foundations they build on, but nonetheless vividly reflects the modern world and Eure’s personal stakes in eternal struggles and joys all men and women face in their lives. There are certainly moments aspiring to performed poetry and making liberal use of older language, but those moments come off as credibly Eure’s own. This North Carolina based recording artist is one of the most impressive figures on the indie folk and Americana scene today.
The album opener “The Wind Will Take You Home” is such a durable tune that you can hear it working in a variety of styles. It has a steady musical stride that fuels its lyrical imagery and matches the dovetailing of moods gives it another level of unity not shared by some of the admittedly fine songs included on this full-length platter. “Common Ground” is a much more energetic, kinetic vocal driven number with some of the most fleet-fingered musicianship on The Coin, the Prayer & the Crow and gives listeners another early side to Eure’s musical personality.
“Song of Remembrance” brings us are our first early change-up in the album’s mood, but it isn’t so simple as the release moving from optimism into despair. The carefully considered guitar playing stitches a delicate mood without ever sounding flowery and, indeed, there’s a palpable gravitas to the song that’s satisfying to hear. Eure’s lyrical content for the album is among the best on The Coin, the Prayer & the Crow and his singing seems to convey that Eure’s judgment is the same.
Smarts And Substance Are At The Heart Of Tome Eure’s Songwriting
“The Best of Thee” is a nice showcase for Eure’s songwriting acumen and the deep intelligence he brings to this historically grounded narrative emphasizes storytelling and significant details peppering the lyric realize the track’s potential. Eure delivers a particularly effective vocal as well. Perhaps the album’s brightest instrumental, “The Path Home” is a pastoral romp full of sunlight and generosity without ever seeming forced. Amelia Osborne’s vocal on the song “The Carving Tree” is her sole lead vocal spot on The Coin, the Prayer & the Crow, but Eure doesn’t disappear entirely and brings some ghostly harmonies to the song’s chorus. It’s one of the best songs on the album and exudes tremendous waves of feeling through to the listener.
The five-plus minutes of “Blue Smoke Hills” is the widescreen instrumental on The Coin, the Prayer & the Crow that some might have suspected was coming and its position late in the album’s running order is especially astute. Pairing it with the follow-up “Finish Line” is another masterful move thanks to its irresistible vocal melody and the complementary arrangement makes the experience even better. Tom Eure’s sixth album is his best yet and checks off all the boxes you expect from the best folk music while having its own distinctive voice.
Find more Tom Eure at https://tomeure.com/
-review by Joshua Stryde