Carinae – Zephyr Window


I’m sitting on a moonbeam, sings Carinae on their latest five-track EP, Zephyr Window. When you’re listening to it, you can’t help but feel like you, too, are sitting on a moonbeam. The Hadley, Massachusetts psych-rock band creates a unique sound that, like a moonbeam, is utopian and distant, but still radiant and familiar.

They enter the album slowly, with drums and an underlying drone building steady tension in “22/23.” This tension continues as the vocals are introduced; they have an edge and emotion that makes you both uneasy and eager to hear where they’re leading you to. The end destination is a psychedelic jam session complete with reverbed guitar solos and the hum of an organ.

“Youngblood” offers a fun talking/singing hybrid form of storytelling. It captures youth and its imminent death. There are playful, sing-song female backups and a catchy musical descent of “no, no, no.” It’s a feel-good song ridden with the slight chaos that comes along with adolescence.

As a whole, Zephyr Window is like ‘70’s psych rock, but modernized with indie pop undertones. It’s chilled-out, yet strangely anthemic with its memorable hooks. At one point Carinae ask Do I drone on? in the EP’s title track, “Zephyr Window.” The answer is quite simply, “no.” Instead of fusing together vocals with the instrumentation as most modern psych bands have gotten in the habit of doing, Carinae highlight bright, standout vocals and vocal melodies that lean more towards rock ‘n’ roll than a droney psych dream. Don’t get me wrong—Zephyr Window is still very dreamy, but it’s also vibrant in an exceptionally refreshing way.

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