Monday, June 4, 2007

Get To Know: Carina Round

After a terrible year-long delay, English born/L.A. based Carina Round’s second album Slow Motion Addict is finally set to be released tomorrow (6/5). The album also has a surprisingly legit (read: expensive) looking film counterpart of the same name. Much of the press has slowly been released prior to the albums release, with some calling the album “possibly her breakout.”

Her first EP, The First Blood Mystery was released independently in the U.K. and contained a mixture of smoky jazz café textures and spoken word poetry. It was a good start, but only hinted at the singer/songwriters full potential. 2004’s excellent The Disconnection was a true testament to Round’s skill as a songstress. The album contained an air of mystery that warranted repeated listens. The songs are acoustic based, but fleshed out by the band with skill and a deft ear for arrangement. “Into My Blood,” is laced with electronic touches and somewhat dissonant siren-like guitar squalls. It also showcases Round’s wildly expressive voice, ranging from a silky smooth coo to a terrifying shriek. “Paris” starts off with spacious acoustic strums and upright bass plucks before the chorus kicks in, sporting horn arrangements and subtle samba rhythms.

Download >>Into My Blood

Download >>Paris

While The Disconnection was a slow brooding grower, peeling layer after layer while expanding its sound at the same time, Slow Motion Addict aims straight for the gut. It strips away most of the complex textures from the previous album and opts for a more “punk” sound. The guitars are turned up, and very few songs meander long before rocking out. While it doesn’t seem fair the label the album simpler than the previous, it’s safe to say it’s much more straightforward. It’s geared more for immediate satisfaction, possibly an attempt to break free from the purgatory-like state between indie stardom and commercial success (which neither, unfortunately, Carina Round has yet to see). Along with “The Disconnection” (possible left over from the last album?), “How Many Times” is more of a marriage between the two worlds of the previous and current album, and one of the more catchy numbers. “Take The Money” is a surf-rock song exploring the much covered topic of greed and selling out that plagues so many new artists. While I may still long for the enticing subtleties that made The Disconnection one of my favorite albums from ’04, I would still love to see Carina break into the mainstream with this album. One can only hope.

Download >>Take The Money

Download >>How Many Times

1 comment:

Scott Shiba said...

Carina Round has always been one of my favorites. I hadn't been paying much attention to her recently, and I am excited to see that she has something new.