If a story is a thread, and a song is a woven web, Justin Seagrave‘s debut Between Lives is a museum-quality tapestry. Exquisite attention to production detail meets Seagrave’s tender vocals and refreshingly honest songwriting style.

Seagrave, an LA-born child of artists, studied classical guitar at the San Francisco Conservatory before taking off for 10 months of European travel to hone his street-playing and free-roaming skills. The result of these two educations is a sound at once orchestral and whimsical.

The five folk songs settle easily on the ear, washing over like low-tide on a summer beach. Yet when you dive into them, the musicality underpinning each song evades the simple three-chord algorithm of the traditional folk rune. The tracks are rife with melodic leaps and theoretically unexpected chord shifts that have been so well set up that they sound natural. The lyrics, too, are poetry. In a world of escape, ego and self-obsession, Seagrave takes on life and death in rich organic metaphors.

The child in you will giggle at “All the Creeping Things,” but Seagrave wisely places this track mid-EP as a playful aside. It’s the title track “Between Lives” that has me hypnotized.

Have a listen. Especially recommended on an existentially difficult day. You can also catch him live this Saturday at Cafe Revolution as part of Balanced BreakFEST.