NEW ARTIST FINDS: CAROUSEL
Crafting music that is 100% good vibes isn’t easy to do. The problem with life is that every now and again, you’re gonna have a bad day. These days can carry over into your work and your art, sadly. However there are a few bands out there that are able to shrug off negativity and put out music that is relentlessly pleasing and infectious, whose focus is solely to put smiles on faces and rhythm in butts.
Carousel is definitely a band that decided from the beginning that their sound would lift people up, combining bright, uptempo electro and soft, airy pop. The Bay Area duo has been around for a bit and have gotten noticed by a few YouTube channels but hasn’t seen the kind of popularity they really deserve. From front to back, their Palms EP is synth driven pop joy and while it won’t blow up the clubs, the desire to dance while Carousel is playing is pretty strong.
They have a fairly wide retro streak going through their sound, but “Into the Night” is absolute ‘80s joy. It’s got all the effervescence of teen romance (carefully crafted by John Hughes, naturally) and the last fourth of the song just rips into a sweet guitar solo that pushes the track over the edge of Like and into the depths of Love. It’s a very catchy tune and the one I’d play for anyone who hasn’t heard of Carousel.
CAROUSEL - INTO THE NIGHT
“Another Day” is a slightly slower song, again with a retro bend that makes you wish you were cruising in your convertible with someone special. With a less frenetic tempo, you can slow down and appreciate the smart arrangements and instrumentation this band is capable of. Carousel has a keen awareness of their sound, and everything is very chill and charming without straying into overly sweet, twee territory. Another great little guitar solo really adds to the track, and I’m smiling wide as the song ends.
CAROUSEL - ANOTHER DAY
“Close My Eyes” sits somewhere in between the first two tracks. A happy, poppy beat is stopped every now and again for the chorus and it’s a bit jarring but the enthusiasm of the song isn’t lost at all. I will say that this track won’t get as much attention as the other two but at the same time Carousel demonstrates that their song structure need not only follow one formula.
CAROUSEL - CLOSE MY EYES
It’s hard to believe that Carousel remains unsigned a year after they started putting themselves out there. Their great strength is that they appeal to fans of many different genres. Indie and pop, electro and retro all get thrown into the mix and the result is cool, cute and fun to listen to. I tend to shy away from endlessly happy music like this because I’m a bitter bastard but good vibes are infectious and Carousel is their vector.