The Minneapolis, MN-based quartet of Carroll was formed towards the end of 2011 when songwriter and vocalist Brian Hurlow started writing melancholic, shoegazer-based pop songs that caught the attention (and ear, of course) of his college classmate and drummer, Charlie Rudoy. And almost immediately, the duo of Hurlow and Rudoy clicked and then moved in together in a house on Carroll Avenue – and the band paid homage to that house by naming the band after the street its located on. After guitarist Max Kulicke and Bassist Charles McClung were enlisted to flesh out the band’s live sound, the band quickly became one of the Minneapolis area’s hot, new indie bands. In fact, their debut EP, Needs received regular rotation on Minneapolis’ NPR affiliate The Current and two of the Twin Cities’s biggest arts publications named them one of the area’s best new bands.
Naturally with that kind of immediate success locally, the band is actively crafting a much larger profile for themselves. So over the winter, the band went to Philadelphia’s Miner Street Recordings to record their debut full-length, which was produced by Jonathan Low, who has worked with The National. Local Natives, Mr. Twin Sister and others. Recorded in 17 days, the album will likely win over many of my blogger colleagues and friends.
How would I know? Well, the album’s first single, “Boxing Day” is comprised of shimmering guitars, fed through reverb, 808 style drum beats, and Hurlow’s plaintive falsetto that will remind some listeners of Radiohead and will remind others – including me – of the Los Angeles, CA-based Hands, whose Massive Context was one of my favorite albums of 2012. But the main thing is that the song is gorgeous but with a wistful feel, and that’s appropriate since the song describes a relationship that has failed and the lingering feelings of confusion, resentment and guilt that are left over.
The band is embarking on an October tour which will include several sets during the upcoming CMJ Festival.