It began in college, as many things do, when singer-guitarist Timothy Edward Carpenter and singer-mandolinist Emilie Jane Creutzinger (now husband and wife) discovered that they shared a common musical perspective while attending Lee University in Tennessee. Their two-person collegiate folk conclave would eventually be known by the name of Edward and Jane. Looking to further develop their sound out of the confines of a duo, they enlisted the help of singer-guitarist, and fellow Lee University student, Spencer Thomas Smith — and they would subsequently bring on one of Carpenter’s childhood friends, Jerome Obholz, on drums. The quartet quickly established themselves within the Cleveland, Tennessee musical scene and released their unofficial debut EP, “Grow,” in 2014.
However, the band felt the pangs of distance when Carpenter and Creutzinger made the move up north, back to their hometown of Cincinnati. This time away from their Tennessee friends and family led to the creation of what they consider to be their true debut EP, 2017’s “As Family We Gather,” a collection of songs that spoke to hard truths about growing old, the sorrow and joy that comes from family and the difficulties of being away from those we love. Recorded at Varsity Recording Co. in Anderson, Indiana, the EP helped to establish the band’s larger, more band-oriented folk-rock aesthetic. An international tour followed in the spring of 2017, as did the documentary “Gather,” which highlighted the creation of “As Family We Grow” and its ensuing tour.
Recently, the band returned to their Tennessee haunts and took on bassist Aaron Sawyer and keyboardist Brenden Koon. Newly christened as a six-piece, they got to work writing and recording their newest record, “To Early to Tell,” a 5-track EP which focuses on their immaculately folksy arrangements and heart-worn lyricism. It’s an ode to family and to friends, and to the unbreakable connections we make that linger with us throughout our lives.
Opening with the loosely-knit “Hold Your Own,” the album spirals into a wondrously woodsy Americana groove, with the band effortlessly adapting these well-worn sounds to their own specifications. The folk-rock ambiance is heightened by the gorgeous harmonies bestowed by Edward and Jane, rising and falling with each verse and chorus in a formless rush of emotion and experience. “I’m Already Gone” is a bit more rambunctious, evoking rockier landscapes and denser arrangements. “Gone” centers around Jane’s honeyed voice and some delicate piano and string collaborations — she details her parents aging and the things which only now make sense given her own matured understanding.
Working with producer Jonathan Class, the band creates a lovely and weighted atmosphere where the combined gravities of influence and expectation meld to create an acute awareness of their own reality. “Fly Me Home (Tennessee)” is a spirited jaunt through ache and self-realization, while closing track “Take Me with You” is is a fluid bout of introspection that ebbs and flows with casual grace and lonesome affection. Over the course of these 5 songs, Edward and Jane breaks down the folk-rock/Americana genres into their barest elements and proceeds to rearrange them into something unpredictable, pastoral and without equal. The EP possesses an emotional inclusivity which only strengthens the musical wonder of their work.