‘It balances sophisticated musicality and restraint in the most beautiful of ways.’
Intro to Carmody:
I’ll put it straight out there, it’s rare that I enjoy a cover of
a track. However, this is exactly how I discovered London based singer-songwriter Carmody last week. Delivering soulful musicality in her version of ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ I needed to find out more. Therefore, discovering her 2018 release ‘Summer Rain’ it simply called for Carmody to be this week’s #FridayFindsFeaturedArtist. Working with Tom Misch back in 2014 on ‘Out to Sea’ and releasing multiple, equally soulful hits since, it’s no wonder her following is continually growing. Begs the question, why haven’t I discovered her sooner?
Effortlessly soulful from the outset, bass synths and electro drum kit fuse together creating the most enticing opening few seconds. Rhythmically laid back and chilled, you gently sway as the elements combine. Slowly you become enveloped in the sparse, yet sublime sound that you are hearing and instantly you want more.
With the style of the track firmly set, the emergence of Carmody’s vocal sits wonderfully above and set to a limited pitch range, the melody feels effortlessly captivating. This said, with the previous elements reduced, and even further space given – allowing for beautifully echoing phrases to come through – it also feels incredibly understated.
Reaching the pre-chorus, the sound begins to evolve with harmonised vocals and more atmospheric elements creating a more dramatic, yet still restrained sound. Hinting at a potential segue in to the chorus itself, it’s truly beautiful. However, holding it back for a few seconds just before the recurring lyric of ‘And I know love’ gives showcase emphasis to the lyricism that follows. Likewise, the break in the accompaniment means that when the fuller textures – those formed of interweaving, arpeggiated melodies and sustained, panning synths – we appreciate them for the incredibly stylish elements that they are.
Reaching the second verse, much the same as before occurs, but with more prominent rhythmic echoes and subtle changes in pitch. Bringing a sense of growth, it subconsciously encourages us to grow in advance of the forthcoming sound. However, as it turns out this is also a gentle tease of what is to come following the more exposed sound of the bridge.
Introducing us to a different sound than to this point in the track, the beauty of Carmody’s musicality – and indeed her vocal – really shines through. Listening to it on it’s own, it really is a showcase moment of trademark captivation and set to delicate piano, it’s a sound that’s hard to resist.
However, while the bridge is indeed a real treat – and quite possibly the highlight of the whole track – the final chorus, with it’s seductive additional harmonies and selectively multi-tracked phrases delivers even more. There is every chance it hints at where Carmody’s sound is going next, but wherever it’s heading, the beautifully restrained, sophisticated musicality is sure to follow.