With a penchant for melancholic and crooning ballads, singer/songwriter Caleb J.E. Brown, hailing from Sulphur Springs, Texas, releases an intimate and expressive new single that focuses on relationships that are not easily defined. “I Want You (By The Dollar/By The Time) highlights those relationships in which you’re spending time together, but unofficially – the relationships you may pursue when you’re unsure what you want, yet relish in navigating that experience.
Most of Caleb’s songs revolve around somber themes like loss, abandonment, heartbreak, and yearning. In his formative years as a musician, Caleb was influenced by artists ranging from early soul singers like Otis Redding and Al Green to more modern and emotive acts like Jeff Buckley, Leif Vollebekk, and Sigur Rós. An out-of-tune and dusty Acrosonic piano in his family garage gave birth to a dream of becoming an artist in any avenue he could use. While those formative preteen years did not form much of value, he eventually found his footing in the thought-provoking and brooding music he created. After a rather tragic end to a chapter in his life, he set his sights on perfecting and releasing his art to a public audience in the hopes that someone listening could connect with his music. After the release of his debut album, Pigeons to Doves, Caleb began to grow into his own and mold himself into the artist he aspired to be.
While “I Want You” was originally written as a funkier arrangement, it was recorded as a stripped-down and more intimate version, highlighting his roots as a blue-eyed soul singer that are clearly etched into his ever-expanding repertoire as a musical artist. Recorded in Fort Worth Sound in Ft. Worth, Texas, the track is sexy, unashamed, and expressive, using only a Yamaha keyboard and a voice to create an affectionately relatable anthem for anyone who has ever been in this gray zone of relationships (“situationships” as one might label them.) Although he makes it clear that he’s unsure what he wants further than enjoying the time that they have together, Caleb uses balanced vocal tones to express his appreciation for the small moments that make up the gray zone. From the passion in his voice, it’s clear that he is okay with being in this space. Although there may be a lot of certainty, he focuses instead on the certainty – that he enjoys their company. And sometimes that’s okay, to be comfortable in this gray zone with no rush to move out of it.