On Tigermending, Carina Round seems to have both mellowed out a bit from her previous releases as well as become more experimental. Perhaps it’s partially due to her work with Puscifer or perhaps it’s simply due to it being five years since her last release, Slow Motion Addict. But none of that especially matters as this album is nothing short of an astonishing, emotional, mysterious, beautiful journey. Read on for my take on her fourth full-length album.
Opening with Pick Up The Phone, Carina immediately sets a serious tone by somberly stating, “Pick up the phone/I’m pregnant with your baby/I wanted you to know/The dreams I’ve been having lately”. Delightfully eerie music sets the backdrop for this song about taking responsibility for one’s actions and words. It’s a poignant, reflective track, one that had me staring off into space, questioning my own actions.
The third track, Girl And The Ghost, picks up the tempo a bit, with beautiful guitar chord changes and a rich upright bass. It’s also a track where Carina gets to show off some of her incredible vocal talent, ending the song with a beautiful, high run. The next track, You And Me, might be one of the sweetest songs I’ve heard in a while, expressing the feelings we get when we miss someone and the memories that come up as a result.
Marcel Marcel has perhaps the most beautiful ending of any of the tracks, with beautiful vocal harmonies, shimmering keys and gentle drum rolls. The next track, Weird Dream, can only be described as the soundtrack to a rural carnival or fair, one that is abandoned except for the performers themselves.
The album ends with the sublime, almost minimalistic Simplicity Hurts. It begins almost like a lullaby, slowly moving into a slow jazz piece that can be tonally compared to some of Imogen Heap’s work.
Every second listening to this album is full of stunning, rich, warm tones and new layers to uncover. Be sure to not only have some good headphones or a solid sound system for this album, make sure to set aside an hour just to appreciate every nuance.
The Final Word: Were I to compare Tigermending in some way to another artist, I’d have to say that it’s almost like a more indie version of Portishead’s Dummy while still sounding wholly unique. Carina Round has put out a stunning album that will almost certainly find a place on my Best of the Year list.
Got any thoughts/questions/concerns for Jonny B.? Shoot him a message on Twitter!