California's Carousel Beach have crafted one of those rare albums that perfectly mixes fun without sacrificing any ounce of intelligence. On first spin, this collection of eleven songs plays as support for the upcoming summer weather, driving around with the windows down and the album blasting. Digging a little deeper, the listener is rewarded with a swirling mixture of sounds that smartly shift track to track. A lazy writer would listen to the first single "Ayahuasca" and call the track a Fleet Foxes meets Animal Collective clone. But when listening to the track in the context of the album and understanding how the entire record works from start to finish, such a comparison seems weak.
This impressive self-titled debut runs the gambit of genres as folk bleeds into a 90's rock sensibility which moves into piano ballads and then makes a turn with grandiose harmonies that bounce around tribal percussion lines. The band themselves cited nature, surfing, South American shamanism, the art of Pablo Amaringo, Felix Pinchi Aguirre and Anderson Debernardi as the main inspirations for the album. While I'm not sure how each of these play into the final album, understanding that Carousel Beach has a wide spectrum of influences ultimately informs why this special debut LP sounds so diverse. This record will serve as both a fun spin and an album I hold in high regard. I just can't wait for summer to arrive so my surroundings and these magnificent sounds can perfectly align.
Release Date: April 23, 2013
Label: SonaBlast! Records