Wednesday, 2 May 2012

S. Carey - Hoyas

I'll get it out of the way at the start, Sean Carey plays in Bon Iver, and as such his new EP (and his debut album 'All We Grow' from 2010) sound a bit like Bon Iver. Echoey vocals, sparse music, and so forth. Infact, Hoyas was part produced by Justin Vernon. There is less of the classical elements found on his debut present here, favouring layered synth and vocal loops, reflecting the EP being recorded with "a lap-top and little else". Indeed, when 'real' instruments do appear they bring great contrast to the music. The guitar that cuts into 'Two Angles' half way through instantly brings new energy to the track.

The Bon Iver comparison really is too easy to draw, but it's also what you'd expect from a man who has spent the best part of the last year playing in Bon Iver. It is far more synth based than Bon Iver of course, the throbbing bass that opens 'Avalanche' sounds closer to a dark Postal Service than Bon Iver, it's also one of the strongest tracks of the year so far.

Hoyas comfortably retains the beauty created by the layering within All We Grow, but whilst that was an album for the summer, this is for travelling alone at early hours of the morning. At times the music is barely present, but S. Carey has found the perfect balance between sparse and too much happening. Beautiful stuff.


Sean Collison

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