S. Carey is most known for his role in the Folk/Indie project Bon Iver, where he provides backup vocals and drums. He has recently released his first solo album, All We Grow – one that is quite similar to the previously mentioned act he is associated with. The album was recorded during sporadic breaks in touring with Bon Iver, in bits and pieces. The part he played in Bon Iver’s success does not seem to be the result of beginner’s luck, as his debut boasts the same acclaim as Bon Iver’s first record did. While S. Carey’s first solo release is not a far cry from Bon Iver’s debut, it is definitely worthy of sharing some, if not all, of its praise and more.
All We Grow is an album that provides a sense of eloquence through its simplicity. There is nothing that would scream S. Carey as the composer of the century, or give reason to hail his vastly superior musicianship. What makes this album so eloquent is the arrangement of instruments; the simple rhythms melded and meshed together make for a superior work of art in nearly every song. Many songs start very humbly, with only one or two instruments and his lone vocals, but will evolve into a much more diverse mix of instruments and vocal harmonies.
The vocals throughout the album are very reminiscent of Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago; the same could also be said with merit from an instrumental standpoint. But fans of Bon Iver and S. Carey listeners would agree that there is difference enough for good things to be said on S. Carey’s behalf. It would seem that All We Grow took nearly all of FEFA‘s good points, added to them, then put S. Carey’s own personal spin on things.
One might think, S. Carey being a drummer with collegiate degrees to boast, that drums might be the centerpiece of this record, but that is simply not the case. Many of the songs are in fact absent of any form of percussion instrument. Instead, instruments like piano and even vocals are used to keep songs flowing. For a a first and foremost drummer (maybe not so much now, with this release) the broad branching-out instrumentally speaks wonders for S. Carey’s musicianship.
S. Carey is now a driving force behind his genre; expect more good things from him. It would seem that he has the midas touch in terms of Indie-Folk music.