terça-feira, 26 de junho de 2012

Twee and cute music, once again.

This time, I'll be talking about The Carousel, a band which I found out some weeks ago and I totally am in love with it.

The Carousel were a twee-pop/twee folk band that formed in 1988, when Elizabeth Price left Talulah Gosh to form this high tone/sweet and child-like singing, all-guitar and choirs band with Gregory Webster (ex-Razorcuts). The band released one studio album, one compilation album and several EP's.
Many listeners usually say that this band recalls to religious/cathedral-like atmosphere, which is true. Elizabeth Price's beautiful and angelical voice is the centre of the attention, while a choirs in the background repeat her lines in a more lyrical tone, almost as if little singing angels and the guitar keeps playing these really lovely and bittersweet chords. Yes, bittersweet because the song may appear quite cheering/pop-like, but deep down there, I feel this whole melancholy towards the melody and the singing itself. I can say that I'm a little bit disappointed because they didn't release much material, since I can honestly say their music is one of the most beautiful things I've ever discovered until now (I'm hoping that Elizabeth Price or Gregory Webster reads this and decides to reunite the band again).
Personally, bringing to surface the subject of the sound of music, I'd say religious atmosphere is only a small part of their music. Maybe I'd refer to their first and only studio album 'abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz' as a more religious/church-like sound, since icons of the Catholic religion as 'Jesus' and 'Mary' are referred in a few songs, and their back cover's the image of The Virgin Mary (even though I'm not catholic, I find the whole image of it very attractive and beautiful) with little chubby and blushed angels flying around this immaculate woman all covered up in white and brownish clothes. Also, the cover of the 1990 EP 'Sorrow Is The Way To Love' is the image of Jesus Christ being crucified, which is evocative to the idea of sorrow.
Back cover of  'A-Z' by The Carousel

In their song 'Sugarbowl', in their first studio album, Elizabeth refers to Jesus Christ as 'sweet Jesus'. She confesses that she needs his presence with her throughout her whole life because she believes that only by his side, she'll be able to overcome her problems and to live life in peace. This most likely evidences Elizabeth's belief in religion or, maybe, her sweetheart is named Jesus. I'm only trying to interpret songs, and I won't guarantee 100% accuracy.
The whole subject of their studio album is love ('Sugarbowl', mentioning her love for Jesus, 'Like A Honeybee', which talks about her love for a «golden-haired boy», 'Truelove' mentioning a love that will last forever, according to Elizabeth Price, 'Baby Sweetness', mentioning 'Baby Jesus'and the whole religious subject once again, and 'My Boy And His Motorbike', telling the story of her sweetheart who owns a motorbike), apart from 'Henry, Please Don't Chop Off My Head', which talks about Henry VIII, who was known for chopping heads off. I'm obviously kidding, but, she does sing this line 'I used to be the queen of England', which might connect to Henry's wife.
   As to the other compilation album, 'I Forgot To Remember To Forget', it usually takes me back to meadows and hills in a green and beautiful England under the summer skies, as it usually describes landscapes, nature, meadows and young love scenes, two sweethearts entwined in an innocent and spontaneous love story.
Even though there's a lot of beauty, loveliness and cuteness in their music, there also is a bittersweet side of it, as I mentioned before. In songs like 'Locks and Bolts' and 'Evergreen', the suffering of the singing voice is quite evident. I don't want to describe the whole songs, because my purpose to this is to make the readers listen to some new music, but I can assure that 'Locks and Bolts' have a certain sad tone to it. Talks about a lover, a past lover that left her behind and will never come back to her arms, and that something is holding her back, although she wants to move on. And 'Evergreen' describes this beautiful landscape of a surrealist nature, an apple tree that 'reaches to the sky', and the fact that she is alone there. She feels lonely and there's no one whom she could share this experience of pure beauty and direct contact with nature and its wonders. 
Anyway, The Carousel's music always give me a bittersweet feeling, no matter how stunning and overwhelming and cheering the song can be. I think it is due to Elizabeth's beautiful and divine singing and the weeping and nostalgic guitars. 
So, here you have a brief description of The Carousel's sound and beauty. Do please listen to this unfairly underrated band and give them so more recognition, because I want their records to be easier to find!! Here is a list of their discography:

Release Date: 1994

1 Henry Please Don't Chop Off My Head 
2 Sugarbowl 
3 Like a Honey Bee (Honey Bee) 
4 Truelove 
5 Sidesaddle 
6 Baby Sweetness 
7 G.U.N. 
8 My Boy and His Motorbike

Will You Wear Love?
Release Date: 1991

1 Will You Wear Love? 
2 Yesterday Boy 
3 Cerise

Sorrow is the Way to Love
Release Date: 1990

A1 Sorrow Is the Way to Love 
A2 Handmedown Green 
B1 Locks and Bolts 
B2 No Ticket for the Train

Strawberry Fayre
Release Date: 1989

A1 Strawberry Fayre 
A2 Evergreen 
B1 Halfpennies and Farthings 
B2 September Come Again 

'I Forgot To Remember To Forget'
Release Date: 1993

1     Strawberry Fayre 
2     Will You Wear Love?
3     Handmedown Green
4     Halfpennies and Farthings
5     Locks and Bolts
6     Evergreen
7     Sorrow Is The Way To Love
8     Yesterday Boy
9     Sundials and Weathervanes
10   Cerise
11   No Ticket For The Train
12   September Come Again

Back cover of the 1990 EP 'Sorrow Is The Way To Love'. Also, a picture of Gregory Webster and the beautiful Elizabeth Price.

All the best!

Here's a video clip for 'Strawberry Fayre', enjoy:

2 comentários:

  1. I also love this band! But I only have the abcdefghijklmnopqrstuwxyz album, I'm obsessed with my boy and his motorbike! It's always lovely find a review like this, thanks! <3

  2. Thank you Sofia! I must assume you re the same person who brought them to youtube! I m forever grateful<3