EP Review – CarnyMusic

CarnyMusic is the name San Francisco-based multi-intrumentalist, singer and songwriter Mike Carnahan gives to his latest project. A four-song, 18 minute set, this self-titled EP features somber, melancholy textures on “Riptide.” The spare funereal drum and insistent, folky acoustic guitar provide backing for Carnahan’s faraway vocal; some carefully-added sonic elements (keening and ghostly guitar lines, for example) add a haunted vibe. Carnahan’s overdubbed vocal harmonies add sophistication and finish. If you like what you hear on “Riptide,” you may be pleased to discover three more tunes very much like it; if you’re looking for variety, you may well come away slightly disappointed. There’s a Fleet Foxes feel to “Start Another Week,” and “Close your Eyes” is even more haunted than the opening track, but overall, CarnyMusic suffers from its slightly one-dimensional approach to songcraft. If you like what Carnahan has on offer—and there are many reason you should—CarnyMusic represents a potentially rewarding (if brief) aural experience. If not, then, well, it doesn’t.