Monday, 30 January 2017

Album: Tim Carr - The Last Day of Fighting

Tim Carr - The Last Day of Fighting

Tim Carr - Whirling Girl

Info: Tim Carr is a singer/composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist.  His music is a mix of instrumental interludes, and minimal folkesque songs inspired by African rhythms, melodies of the French Romantics and 60s pop.

He has worked, as a drummer and collaborator, with the bands HAIM, The Americans and Fell Runner, performing with artists such as Devendra Banhart, Gaby Moreno, Ryan Bingham, Edward Sharpe, Julian Casablancas, Dr. John, Lucinda Williams, Broken Social Scene and Nick Cave.  In addition he’s recorded with T Bone Burnett, performed on Letterman and is featured in the upcoming documentary, American Epic, produced by T Bone Burnett, Jack White and Robert Redford.

Tim’s first home recordings were released in the fall of 2014 under the Moorworks label in Japan. His song, 'The Last Day of Fighting', was included on the soundtrack to Watershed, directed and produced by Robert Redford, featuring other artists including Beck, Múm, and Thom Yorke. His debut album, The Last Day of Fighting, which includes some of his early recordings, was released in December, 2016. Tim recorded and self-produced all the songs, and plays all the instruments.

Raised in Marin County, surrounded by a family of musicians, Tim took up piano, guitar, and drums by eight years old.  He continued to study drums and polyrhythms with Peter Magadini and, as a teenager, performed in numerous workshops, including The Brubeck Jazz Colony, Stanford Jazz Workshop, and SF Jazz Combos. Tim received a BFA from California Institute of the Arts and was featured on their Capitol Records CD for three consecutive years.

From opening track 'Whirling Girl' you are immediately aware that you are going to be listening to an album with authenticity as it's bedrock in Tim Carr's debut The Last Day of Fighting. Whilst in can be difficult to wade through the number of folk-leaning artists here in Ireland to find something that shines outstandingly in a sea of talent, it can be naturally far more arduous when it comes to those based across the Atlantic due to sheer volume. Yet here is an absolute diamond of great beauty. 'Whirling Girl' is soft, moving, and unobtrusive, it's obvious why he's had his music selected for soundtracks, it paints a scene in addition to creating ambient and thought-provoking moods.

'Now Now' is achingly stripped back, warm acoustic bass strings and Carr's vocals are more than enough on their own to fully draw the listener in at it's opening. As the track progresses the harmonies and gentle tingling electric guitar notes are like a wisping breeze through an open window. It's impossible not to visualise the musician in complete isolation in a small country house way out in the rural singing to no one but the landscape on all four sides. 'Easy For Me' rolls sweetly through it's bars, Carr's gentle vocal simultaneously forelorn and abject yet eschewing warmth and comfort at the same time, it's slightly mystical and incredibly easy to get completely lost in.

Tim Carr - The Last Day of Fighting

After the equally calming delights of 'Beyond You', Carr swaps acoustic for electric, here we reach peak beauty, the power of his sound is so understated here in particular; 'you're not around anymore, but somehow I can hear you better, better than before', a lovely line that shows how much more attentive we can become when those close to us are not at hand. 'Kindred One' sounds like a mix of Alt-J and Animal Collective if they'd just had all their electronic gear stolen from the back of their tour bus an hour before a show. It's melodic and uplifting, again perhaps reflecting rural landscapes through music, shakers and bass drum bringing a tribal Native American ceremony to our ears and imaginations. 

The Last Day of Fighting ends with it's title-track (above), little hints of Sufjan Stevens' For Carrie & Lowell, it contains the heart-wrenching feel of that album, but is by no means a song intended to make one feel sad, far from it, hope abounds. Rhythmically and vocally Carr is pushing positivity, and in some ways this closing track summarises both the deep emotional charges of the album, and the overall sense that Carr is a truly gifted and original song-writer. Bearing in mind he is a musician of vast experience already, for a debut album this is still most impressive and quite simply put deserves a very wide international audience.

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