CAROLINE – ” Dark Blue “

Posted: February 24, 2022 in MUSIC

Rising UK post-rock band Caroline‘s self-titled debut album arrives this Friday (25th) via Rough Trade and ahead of the release comes the album version of “Dark Blue,” which the band shared a live session version of back in 2020. The band’s self-described mix of Midwest emo and Appalachian folk is fine form on this gorgeous track,

this UK eight-piece caroline’s eponymous debut album often cascades with force like an avalanche, squalling and rumbling on the edge of all-out collapse. At other points they slip back into impossibly fragile moments of quiet – a simple bassline or a rattle of snare the only sound amid a dark sea of silence. caroline know exactly the right balance between restraint and release. These songs are expansive and emotive pieces, their rich palette drawing on a mixture of choral singing, Midwestern emo and O’Malley and Llewellyn’s roots in Appalachian folk.

“Sometimes things sound much better when there’s empty space,” says Llewellyn. “Sometimes you might populate [a song] with too many things and forget that an element on its own is enough.”

Elsewhere on the record the band have employed a collage-like technique, combining snippets of lo-fi recordings from a myriad of different locations – a barn in France, the members’ bedrooms and living rooms, the atmospheric swimming pool in which they also filmed sublime live sessions for ‘Dark blue’ and ‘Skydiving onto the library roof’ – with more traditional group sessions at the Total Refreshment Centre and their studio in Peckham.

The growth that began as a scrappy guitar band above a pub many years ago is still continuing. caroline’s astounding debut album is merely the first step.

The self-titled debut of London-based band caroline sounds like the kind of music you’d hear echoing across the barren wastelands of the post-apocalypse, reminding you of bygone days’ beauty while offering comfort that such beauty can still be found, as long as we have breath in our lungs, and each other. An eight-piece led by founding trio Casper Hughes, Jasper Llewellyn and Mike O’Malley, caroline combine choral vocals, orchestral splendor, rustic Appalachian folk accents and fearless post-rock, crafting sprawling songs that feel sparse, yet maximalist—both cosmic and distinctly of this earth. Tracks like “IWR” and “Good morning (red)” assemble and disassemble themselves in real time, with Oliver Hamilton and Magdalena McLean’s violins lending a particularly palpable emotion to their organic, protean arrangements. Silence is ever-present in caroline’s music, as if they’re constantly aware of not only what we have, but also what we stand to lose. It’s a stunning, life-affirming first full-length. 

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