I first heard Jeff Blumenkrantz's music when I stumbled across this entrancing video, courtsey of UMich's benefit, "The Girly Show." With a brightly charming, totally relatable performance by Susanne Layton, "Toll" tells the story of unrequited love in the fast lane (of sorts):
Jeff's music has always held a soft spot in my heart, and I've always enjoyed seeing him pop up here and there, whether on the pilot episode of The Megan Mullally Show or on The Martha Stewart Show (to see one of his latest, non-musical ventures, check out his cooking-related blog here). But regardless of the various projects he always seems to have in the works, his music always speaks for itself. There's a craft to his storytelling that seems inherently Romantic, mortally optimistic in a way that strives for art and understanding in even the littlest of moments. Case and point, Jeff singing "Hold My Hand":
Perhaps some of the stark beauty of his music comes from inspiration like his love of poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, a personal detail that I've always found deeply affecting in a strange and small way. To get even more perspective, I highly recommend listening to some of his podcasts available through his website, which feature the likes of Rebecca Luker, Sutton Foster, and Marin Mazzie. One of my favorites includes an interview and performance by Julia Murney with an easy, hilarious back and forth that provided for good entertainment. Download them all, sit back, and get swept away in some quality songwriting.