Although they’ve received attention both in their native Minneapolis, MN and nationally over the past year, the quartet Carroll, can trace their origins to when Brian Harlow (vocals) began writing melancholy, shoegaze-based pop songs that caught the attention and ear of his college classmate Charlie Rudoy (drums). The founding duo of Hurlow and Rudoy then moved in together in a house on Carroll Avenue, which the band pays homage to by naming themselves after the street their house is located on.
After Max Kulicke (guitar) and Charles McClung (bass) were recruited to join the band, the newly-constituted quartet quickly became of one of the Minneapolis area’s hottest, up-and-coming bands. 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.
As the buzz was building up for the band, the quartet went to an abandoned cabin to record a handful of demos, which eventually wound up on the desk of renowned producer, Jon Low, who has worked with The War on Drugs, The National. Local Natives, Mr. Twin Sister and others. Their debut self-titled effort was recorded in 18 days, and the effort which is slated for release on September 8, and based on the album’s first single, “Alligator,” I suspect that the effort will receive quite a bit of attention across the blogosphere, as the moody and atmospheric track is comprised of shimmering, reverb-heavy guitars, persistent drums, and Hurlow’s plaintive, melancholy falsetto; in some way sonically and structurally, the track reminds me quite a bit of 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.