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Brooklyn based singer-songwriter James A.M. Downes has been around since 2002, knee deep in the basements of the American north east indie/hardcore scene.
You’ll still catch an earful of crassly eloquent lyrics, but all these years later James finds himself trading the fuzzed out decibels for something a bit more alluring and subversive.
In March of 2017, James released his debut EP, Prison Font. The album (out on Downes’ own Forest Park Recordings) reverberates with lush guitar beds over new-retro progressions creating a sound that fans of The Shins or early Death Cab for Cutie would find shelter in. Prison Font gives breath to narratives that teem with dark humor and humility, taking the listener from debaucherous parties in the underworld all the way to the ghostly desolate bedrooms of former lovers, long since vanished.
While recent features in Relix Magazine and a feature/nomination for Deli Magazine NYC’s “Favorite Emerging Artist” help circulate the recorded music of Prison Font, James continues to bring the live show all around the east cost. Whether performing as a yearning cello/guitar duet or leading a bruising and beautiful full band, most concert goers would agree with The Deli’s Henry Solotaroff-Webber in saying that “James boldly [displays] his talent as a songwriter, and [solidifies] himself as someone to watch.”