S. Carey is the stage name of Eau Claire, Wisconsin indie-folk rocker Sean Carey. Although he’s put out two solo albums and a couple of EPs, he’s probably most known for being a vocalist and one of two drummers in Bon Iver. The first two records —All We Grow (2010) and Range of Light (2014)– had “generally positive” reviews, and the forthcoming Hundred Acre is getting tons of advance praise.
The new record, which will be out on February 23 via Jagjaguwar Records has been called his most personal work yet, and like the first Bon Iver record, it’s “basic” and beautiful. It’s stripped down: guitar, strings, pedal steel, synths, drums, and Carey’s dulcet vocals. Carey is challenging the listener to join him “to strive for a near-utopian ideal of returning to a simpler way of life, and loving those around you, to heal personal wounds.” That’s from the press release back in November. I’ve just gotten around to listening to the new song, and I really can’t wait for the full album. This is that song:
“Fool’s Gold” by S. Carey
The slide guitar is brilliant. There’s a fine line between “enough” slide guitar and “way too much” slide guitar. They’ve found the right side of it. The balance of the acoustic guitar and the electric guitar is amazing. Carey’s vocals are perfect. Beautiful and heartbreaking. I absolutely love the sparseness of the whole thing. Best of all, though, the lyrics don’t get in the way of a beautiful song like they might with a Sun Kil Moon song. Oh no. This is the kind of song that Mark Kozelek wishes he could still write.
This is also the kind of song that reminds us why we loved Bon Iver in the first place. To be honest, I didn’t care for the newest Bon Iver record, but I still hold For Emma, Forever Ago (2007) in the very highest regard. Certainly one of my favourite records of the first decade of the 2000s.
You can and should watch the below video of Carey’s band playing the song:
The album doesn’t come out until February 23, but you can pre-order it via Jagjaguwar in your choice of physical formats including “translucent green” vinyl and “blue haze” vinyl here. You can also order a digital copy via Bandcamp here.
Finally, you should also go catch S Carey on tour. Bon Iver will be at Austin City Limits later this month, then the UK this March. Right after that S Carey will tour the east coast and midwest US. See the tour dates here.