Album Review: Carriers – Now Is The Time For Loving Me, Yourself & Everyone Else

carriersCarriers – Now Is The Time For Loving Me, Yourself & Everyone Else
Indie Rock | Dream Pop | Americana

72%

Don’t be fooled by the overly wordy title. This isn’t some pseudo-intellectual word vomit in the vein of The 1975, believe it or not the sentiment behind the title is sincere. I feel like this is definitely an album about love. Not in the traditional sense, not romance, but the love of a reassuring hand upon your shoulder, or the love and trust needed to reach out when you’re at your lowest. Lyrically this is a record that recognises life’s struggles, while musically it offers an escape from them.

Tracks like opener ‘Patience’, which hits out with “It’s not always better on the other side, Assumptions consume our thoughts and dig through our minds”, and the recurrent theme of ‘Everyday is a new day” on ‘Make It Right’, rely on more than just empty platitudes. Viewed against the album’s darker fare, like the band’s take on loss on ‘Heaven’s People’s or the struggle to find meaning in ‘Daily Battle’, you get a sense that those precious moments of reassurance come from a place of understanding.

While the words ponder on all our worries, the music makes a point of being as carefree as possible. Deeply reminiscent of the more airy side of The War On Drugs, Now Is The Time is an album perfectly suited to escapism. The dreamy synths, gentle folk and spaced out guitar tones, given plenty of room to breathe in the generous track lengths, feel like the soundtrack to a road trip where each day flows into the next. The superb guest rhythm section in the form of The National’s Bryan Devendorf and John Curley of The Afghan Whigs provide a wonderfully expressive and understated performance. They keep the record grounded and on track, while still giving main man Curt Kiser chance to explore his expansive soundscapes.

Sadly however one of this record’s greatest strengths is also its key flaw. While it does plenty to win the hearts of dream pop fans, it doesn’t do enough to stand out on its own. It contains more moments that could easily be mistaken for The War On Drugs than moments that have their own unique take on the style. Thankfully this is just something that is often intrinsic to debut albums. Sometimes it takes a few records to grasp who it is you want to be, what you want to sound like, and figure out how to properly articulate it. What most debuts don’t do however, is offer a starting point as strong as this from which to begin that journey.

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