CD: Matthew Carefully’s “Community Balloon”
(Collar City Records, 2010):
The name has changed, but the relentless sense of musical adventure remains.
So whether you consider “Community Balloon” to be the third in a line of thoroughly intriguing recordings by Matthew Loiacono or simply the debut of Matthew Carefully (Loiacono’s new nom de musique), this is an album that not only bears up to repeated listenings, but actually grows in richness with each spin.
The former Kamikaze Heart is back with an inventive ten-song cycle that he assembled from bits and pieces of lyrics, concepts, samples, photos and other creative efforts that were submitted to him by the outside-the-box folks on his email list.
“The material that people gave to me was evocative and pliable for song-meat,” Carefully explains. “It was a great way to escape from having to write directly about my life’s experiences, which is how I usually attack things. I was able to focus more on the music, the sounds and feelings behind the ideas.”
Utilizing his Ballston Lake home studio as a sonic laboratory, Carefully carefully crafted “Community Balloon” over the course of the past several months, melding traditional stringed instruments with electronics and various aural explorations. The result is exceptionally experimental, and yet accessible, too. Sometimes dreamy; sometimes driving.
Mixed and mastered by former Kamikaze Hearts bandmate Troy Pohl at Collar City Sound, the album focuses on Carefully’s vocal talents, which are often multi-layered and woven into soaring harmonies, as on the opening “Un-Tear.” The only drawback is the drum machine, which at times (“Space Nurses” and “The Old Stream,” for example) sounds too lo-fi in the context of Carefully’s sophisticated arrangements.
As adventurous as the album is, nothing really prepares you for the closing track, a three-minute a cappella litany titled “A Description of Things Rick Moody Could See From His Desk.” I’d try to describe it further, but it would be to no avail; this one one you must hear for yourself.
You can pre-order the album online now. “Community Bundle” is also available in a limited edition, featuring the album in both CD and mp3 formats, along with a set of postcards, a poster and a bonus ambient instrumental CD, “Music to Fall Asleep To, Vol. 1.”
“Community Balloon” will officially be released in CD and digital formats on Tuesday, June 1, but the disc will also be available for purchase at the CD release party at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs at 7pm on Sunday. In addition to Carefully’s performance, the show will also feature the debut of the new musical duo, Rosary Beards – featuring Carefully and Alta Mira guitarist Hunter Sagehorn. Tix to Sunday’s CD release party are $10 in advance; $12 at the door.