Marley Carroll

Melanaster Records, 2013

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


An electronic producer not from the big city with its thriving club life may seem like an anomaly, but Asheville, North Carolina's Marley Carroll is not your average home recording artist. Though he does tread familiar ground with moments of downbeat electronica, glitchy bouts and fuzzy dubstep, he also employs memorable hooks, smooth vocals and lightning quick rhythms, and this easily gives him a leg up on his counter parts. Being both skilled with turning the knobs as well as playing the music and singing, my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Sings has a unique sound in that it brings indie rock, shoegaze and house influenced electronica to the party.

Proof of Carroll's skills comes with the varied sounds he produces. While he starts the album off with the lush and intricate "The Hunter," where his vocals serve as background sounds compared to the quick paced rhythm as synth and programmed drum beats carry the tune, his formula quickly changes direction with "Speed Reader," a funk meets electronica offering. Even more interesting is the indie rock and shoegaze of “Fold Your Wings,” and on “Lossless” he brings in the female vocals of Miranda Rae to help the song get dreamy.

The second half of the disc shows a more emotive side to Carroll, starting off with the "1985" and "First Thought, Best Though," which are both contemplative and meticulous instrumentals. By "Woodwork," vocals are brought in again, though mostly as chanting, and the piano and classical slant of the heartbreaking and instrumental “Prepared Piano” is a fitting precursor to the equally somber and sparse “Look Out,” which isn't too far off from a Thom Yorke inspired ballad.

Sings is overall a very diverse and interesting album. In the wrong hands, this venture could have been a fumbling mess. However, Marley Carroll plays on his strengths well and leaves the listener intrigued from beginning to end. Even those with a limited interest in electronica themed artists will find something here to adore.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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