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Cari Clara – Midnight March- Music Review

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Cari Clara – Midnight March- Music Review

Cari ClaraMidnight MarchDeep Elm Records

Cari Clara’s new LP Midnight March

Music Review by Brad Bugos – Host of SLTM (the Podcast) – brad@fatrobotradio.com

Describing music in an accurate way, to tell another person about the sounds which filter into my ear and around my brain has always been a bit of a daunting task for me. I’ve written thousands of these things, in my zine and for this podcast. It never gets easier, mostly because I’m an idiot who thinks purple is an accurate description of grapes. Since I enjoy music so much, since I listen to so much of it, I feel it’s my duty to try and describe music that I like. I want, at the very least, for you to want to find this band and hear them too. Let’s see what kind of word picture I can weave about Cari Clara’s new LP Midnight March.

This music sounds good, it makes my head have happy face. No dammit, that’s not it. I’m entertained by the sounds of music blasting through my speaker holes…Good Lord, I suck.

Let’s deal with this simply. I enjoy this album. Why? Well, the songs are well crafted. Unlike bands like Fun. and Grizzly Bear, whom I enjoy too, this band makes those sounds and atmosphere by using what appears to be natural sounds. What does that mean you ask? Well, I’ve noticed that bands like Starfucker and Flaming Lips (both bands I enjoy the hell out of) use a lot of created sound noises to fill and enhance their sound. It’s really good, and I like those aforementioned bands, but I like Cari Clara because it seems they’ve decided to use themselves as filler. Does that make any sense? Probably not. Maybe Cari Clara does use a lot of synth and studio tricks on this album, but their sound scape sounds organic and I like that. It’s a nice compliment and difference from those other bands.

At times sounding like Automatic for the People era REM and at other times sounding a bit like Ryan Adams, there is plenty of sound ideas from this LP for anyone to enjoy and not get bored. Sometimes Diedrich just sounds like a singer songwriter whose a bit world worn and a bit down, but who wants to share his experiences with the listener.

“Same old Bad Dream” is a solid winner. Eric Diedrichs channels Stipe and REM on this song, and that’s fine. It’s a dreamy pop song, kind of like a warm blanket on a dreary day, comforting you and keeping you safe from the outside world.

“Safe” is a solid pop song, with some kicking bass drums. It’s got a nice slow build then in comes the pop chorus, and sure there are synth tricks and sounds on this song, but it’s not overly done. It’s not the focus, it’s a nice background and it compliments the overall sound. Some bands feel like they need to clog every pore with some kind of noise, overwhelming the song. It’s a good pop song, it would fit perfectly on Modern Rock Radio (does that term still exist?).

“When you knew it” sounds exactly like a Ryan Adams song, so much so that I think I could play it for someone and ask them what they thought of the new Ryan Adams single. That’s not a bad thing at all. The only problem that I have with Ryan Adams, because I enjoy his music and listen to it, is that he releases way too much music. It’s not that he’s a hack or untalented, so making a song that sounds like a Ryan Adams is not a dismissal of Diedrichs talents. It just reminds me so much of something that Adams would release that it’s uncanny how this could replace a song on one of his albums and no one would know the difference.

I’ve listened to this album a lot, the reason it takes me so long to write these things. I don’t think you can write about something if you just have a passing knowledge or familiarity of it. All of these songs are worth your time as well, worth buying for $5 as a digital download. Also you can stream the album too on the Deep Elm Records web site. What I suggest is that you listen to the whole album, then take Deep Elm up on their $5 album deal, and download yourself a copy.

Here’s another reason why you should listen to this and buy a copy. It’s chock full of pleasing sounds. Just do me one favor, Listen to these two tracks “Greater History”, a wonderful rock song, with a catchy melody and stream lined guitar sound and “Shout” with it’s wonderful background vocals and wonderful piano and deep drum beats. It’s so upbeat, telling you to raise your voice and be heard. Love those “OHHHH” background vocals, it’s upbeat and adds some power to the idea that you need to let it out, don’t hold it in. Also don’t tell me that “Homage to Excess” is not a beautiful song. It’s may start out as just an acoustic song, but it builds in such a nice way, it’s soars at the appropriate times, and I can just picture a man in a hotel room, surrounded by a trashed room, picking up his guitar and strumming out this tune, all the while the circumstances of how the hotel room turned out this way play in his head. At the 2:30 mark when it kicks in with a little more sound, drums and some beautiful Cellos or Violas, I can picture him loosing his grip on himself and things slipping away.

This is one of those albums that I enjoyed listening to over and over, it’s a pleasure to listen to and for me to try and describe what I was hearing and how it made me feel. It made me feel good. This album will make it into the final best of show, it’s got so much to offer I hope that you’ll at least go to Deep Elm Records and stream it and consider buying it for yourself.

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