Thursday, January 13, 2011

S. Carey - All We Grow (2010)

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I first found out about S. Carey when he went on tour with Swedish folk singer Kristian Matsson aka The Tallest Man on Earth but what I didn't know is that I had heard S. Carey before. You see, S. Carey is the drummer and supporting vocalist for Bon Iver (one of Justin Vernon's evergrowing stable of musical projects). All We Grow was recorded during the band's initial hiatus in '08 and seems to some degree inspired sonically by Carey's time in Bon Iver. Ambient buzzes give way to stunning vocals and lovely layering that really illustrate Carey's talents as an arranger and multi-instrumentalist. Carey's work wields an abnormally great amount of musical power, his quiet barely-there tenor hits you with the intensity of a freight train while being simultaneously soothing and almost unassuming.

All We Grow is great from start to finish, entrancing with its weaving melodic lines aided in part by Carey's percussive skills. There's a real balance achieved between rhythmic percussion and melodic content that creates inescapably ear-catching pieces. While the use of ostinato could get boring, Carey's use of it (like the mostly percussive piano in "We Fell" and "In the Stream") is inventive enough to survive limitless listens with no complaint.

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