Very rarely does a band’s debut release sound both cohesive and complete, however I believe that Carnap, a band located in Copenhagen, Denmark, accomplished just this with their release titled Flavour of Time. In just five songs, the duo demonstrate their seemingly unlimited ability to place together downtempo melodies and rhythms, doing so in a calm and collected manner which makes it easy for the listener to enjoy. By combining elements of pop, alternative and electronic, the band presents what I believe to be a very strong selection of music.
Whether you like it or not, the production is always the first thing anyone notices when listening to something, and I think that Carnap pretty much nailed it in this regard. Even more impressively, they produced the music themselves, allowing for a more intimate, personal experience. A common technique the band utilized throughout the album was portraying the vocals as an instrument, presenting sounds that took on a complex form, as they blended the warm, human element with the more distant, electronic element. While on the topic of vocals, I have to say that they sound pretty spectacular throughout all of Flavour of Time, as far as both pitch and timbre is concerned.
My favorite part of the album was the songwriting. Most of the tunes are downtempo, and as such, the way that each part flows into the next is rather delicate and expressive. A lot of reverb fills the empty space between and soaring vocals typically tie everything together. It is common on this album for synthesizers and vocals to convey countermelodies, and the harmonically rich, analogue sounding synthesizers allowed for the fusing between the two to happen seamlessly. Songs such as “The Clash” and “Flavour of Time” are good examples of this. Although most of the songs fall on the delicate side, all of the songs reek with emotion and take their time expressing themselves.
I am very impressed by the quality of music exhibited by Carnap and especially so considering that it is their debut album. I would recommend Flavour of Time for those that enjoy accessible music that contains more than the average amount of design and flavor, and also to those that enjoy old-school, ‘70s/‘80s inspired electronica. I certainly look forward to hearing what Carnap puts out in the future, and hope that they are able to continue to grow as musicians and bandmates.
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