Grand Prize by Brendan Lane

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Grand Prize is the latest single from Annapolis-based musicians Brendan Lane and Eli Lev. It is also what you would get if you turned your favorite children’s book into a country/folk lullaby with catchy lyrics that every household sings to their children to soothe them. It’s a pretty rare instance to find a male singer whose voice qualifies as “angelic” or “calming” but that’s the only correct way to describe the vocals of Mr. Eli Lev.

Soothing is the first adjective that came to mind as I heard Mr. Brendan lane play his first notes of this beautiful single. Calm and breathy vocals swiftly sing the verses over an instrumental that feels so stripped down and yet so composite that you’ll want to replay the song time after time to hear its details more clearly. I was particularly caught by how consistent the percussion was and how this served the track way better than having louder drums like other folk musicians tend to incorporate in their music.

The lyrics remind me of the Toy Story movies as they take the perspective of something materialistic – a stuffed animal in this case- and give it the human emotion of longing for attention and love. It’s one of the purest and most beautiful narratives I’ve ever heard. The way Mr. Eli Lev can slide to the higher notes with the chord progression is nothing short of amazing. When you hear him switch to a full head voice as he repeats the phrase “I’ll give you all of my loving” will make you feel like you’re a child hearing this lullaby to put you to sleep. Listen to this innocent song whenever you’re having a bad day and you’ll be reminded of how folk music can channel warm and fuzzy emotions of love and innocence rather than being intense or dark.