Album Review: Carroll–Carroll
RIYL: Beach House, Echo and the Bunnymen
Recommended Tracks: Track 1 – “Alligator”; Track 2 – “Bad Water”; Track 3 – “Green Acres”
Carroll describes their album as “closing your eyes and submerging yourself into a bathtub of your ideal warmth–only to open your eyes and discover you’re bathing in a hazardous green liquid.” This translates to a psychedelic pop that seems to bend and twist throughout the album. The production on each song is crystal clear and places emphasis on quality. The band was found by producer Jonathan Low, who has worked with some high profile indie performers including Kurt Vile and The National. There is a gentle touch to each song with the instruments being able to sound atmospheric and trippy.
“Alligator” focuses on a rougher guitar, but still carries light vocals. The song jangles on like SoCal surf rock and whooshes in and out between the synths. The guitar is reminiscent of the psychedelic rock movement in the ‘70s. Bending and echoing, the guitar really captures a mind-bending style that psychedelic music usually brings.
“Bad Water” carries a mixture of both heavy and light instrumentation. The guitars are jangling and roll out. The drums boost the heavier parts of the song and creates a balance between the light and soft.The vocals help the light instrumentation and add to the surreal sound the song is creating.
“Green Acres” is a spacey tune that uses elements of sound in an atmospheric manner. The synths roll on as they twinkle along the guitar on the track. The guitar has a twinge of roughness to it, but mostly compliments the softer parts of “Green Acres.” The vocals gently caress the song and pull all the elements in together tightly.
Carroll’s self-titled release shows how the combination of pop and psychedelic rock can work. The mixture of light vocals and dreamy guitars lead to a colorful vision sonically. Carroll gives a perfect excuse to take it easy and ride out the wavelengths of their songs. Bold choices in musical direction leads to a solid first album for the Minneapolis-based band.