Hello and welcome back! I skipped last week’s entry because today I have something special to show you. Imma present to you an album by an incredible young indie artist. Get ready for Carson – Point Of View!!
I’ve always wanted to get into showcasing other artist’s works more and now it finally happens.
But before we get into it, please note that this isn’t going to be a linear review! In no way am I trying to rate the album by stating a number to define its worth. Rather see this as a spotlight in which I will express my thoughts and opinions about the album.
So now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get started!
Based in the US and formerly active under the ‘Garrh’ alias, producing EDM/Dance music, Carson is now one of the finest underground indie artists I know out there. His productions always sound top notch and he’s got a lot of feeling for the things he does. Sound and composition always blend in perfectly. Now on 31st of January you can finally get his debut album under the Carson alias called ‘Point Of View’. It’s available on many outlets and for streaming on different services right now!
I’d describe Point Of View as the highlight of Carson’s certainly young career, mostly because it’s just a quality piece of art. Every song is beautifully crafted and none of them sticks out too much. Still the album is in no way repetitive!
I wouldn’t classify it as one specific genre, as there are many bits of everything. Some tracks could definitely be described as singer/songwriter or Indie, whereas others certainly ride in the Downtempo/Ambient lane a bit more. Point Of View is experimental yet not unnecessarily complicated.
In fact almost every song could be my favourite so I won’t even gonna attempt to pick one.
Now before we look at the tracks individually let’s have a quick interview with Carson himself!
We’ll talk about the album but also about him as an artist and where he started.
Carson – from EDM to indie
Well Carson, how and when did you start producing?
I started in 2015 and got inspired by Martin Garrix and his ‘Forbidden Voices’ music video. I saw how his life was and at the time it was a big inspiration for me.
So did you start producing right away or did you start with something else before taking this music making route?
I started with free (and bad) online websites like Looplabs or Soundtrap and then started using FL after a year or two of that. I have never taken production lessons or anything.
You come from an EDM inspired background and decided to make a hard cut with the Carson project. How come?
Well for years I was an EDM guy and listened to literally nothing else and decided that I wasn’t happy with that anymore. The genre didn’t satisfy me and I was very bad at it and that was making me feel like I’m not good, so after listening to Charlie Puth and Lauv I decided to change genres. Now I’m much happier. I switched my alias because it just feels right and more personal, I want only good songs associated with this name. I still like EDM and listen to it but I’m not crazy about it like I was before.
Has this cut changed your view on your works in any way?
I feel like now I can do a lot more genres. I can pull of Indie, Lofi and all these others genres. Seeing how I can make them all sound good and that they all have my sound and style makes me feel like I can do more. It makes me pay more attention to the mix, making sure it’s a clean sound.
That’s always a good thing man. So appreciating your own works has improved since then?
Yeah, I think if you start liking your music you care a lot more and make sure everyting sounds good and that makes you wanna get better to make productions better. Of course sometimes I’ll second guess myself as all producers do but that doesn’t make the song any less bad. It still has potential and can still be great.
Very true! What exactly do you want to express with all your art?
Well I want to kinda have a message, that if you can’t be taught or have insane skills right off the bat, all you need is you and music. I’m producing on all stock and learned after years and mistakes and I want people to hear that in my music and be insprired to start music themselves. Already producing artists should also take that into account and grow off of that.
Hans Zimmer who is a big inspiration for my music too said that it’s not limited by budget and that the process takes place in your head primarily, the best idea can come from a kid in a garage and if there’s a rule – break it. That’s the only thing that moves things forward. So that’s just a message I’ve listened to for a while and applied it and I want more people to apply it too cause it can change your life.
words here from Carson, this really sets a mood and I personally
think that this really fits to the album we’re now going to listen
Carson – Point Of View (the album)
Of course we will start with the first track called ‘Ron’!
Being a two minute long instrumental, this track perfectly starts off Point Of View and it doesn’t take a long time listening until you know what you’re gonna get with the album.
Mellow sound, great feeling and huge atmosphere. It’s emotional but in a way that makes you draw new hope and keep your head up high whatever may come.
The song actually is a tribute to a deceased friend of his that had real impact on his development as a person according to what he told me. Even though I didn’t know this friend, I’d say that this first track of the album serves as a great tribute.
Track 2 – Insecure
‘Insecure’, the second track, is one of multiple songs on Point Of View that feature a vocalist. The song itself isn’t complex at all but it has that perfect Singer/Songwriter vibe. I also kinda feel that there’s a touch of Downtempo, due to a soft bass, a synth pad in the background and that crisp ‘liquid’ snare.
In the beginning you can only hear a very remarkable guitar lick that’s then accompanied by all other instruments. What really makes this song special though is the vocals. Those staggering vocals by Chedda and the instrumental fit together like peanut butter and jelly.
Carson wrote the lyrics and tells a story about being cheated on and how one is affected by that.
Like I said before, great take on the Singer/Songwriter kind of vibe.
Crying – what an earcatcher
‘Crying’ is the second song featuring a vocalist, this time ‘Mostafa Elatar’ and I think he too did a great job.
Carson had actually been working on the song for almost a full year, starting with the reversed piano sound. This idea comes from a Chainsmokers video and has been a successful sound design trick in many great songs. I find the other things he built around that even more incredible to be honest. There’s a subtle background melody, great impact FX and a gnarly bass pad creating a nice contrast in the main part. When I first heard this song I had to replay the part around 2 minutes into the track multiple times just because of that super cool swell sound right before the chorus hits.
Listen twice on Walls!
‘Walls’ is one of the most interesting tracks of the album. On the surface it’s a lofi beat with mellow chords and a nice RnB vibe to it. If you look under the surface though there’s something deeper hidden behind the lofi. A muffled audio of people arguing. Throughout the whole track you can hear this in the background if you listen closely. This is supposed to resemble the child’s view when it’s parents are arguing. The song ends with a door being shut, which is meant to symbolize the end of a relationship. A super cool easter egg with a meaningful background to a chill song.
‘Lost WIthout You’ – a message to the industry
On ‘Lost Without You’ Carson is doing the vocals himself on top of a guitar recording. He used his old mic that (as you can definitely hear) has a lot of static noise. The noise really adds to the vibe and I must say it takes some courage to put a simple song like this on an album. What I mean by simple is the fact that this song has no huge production with quality sound effects like the other tracks.
Especially in today’s age it is less and less common to just record yourself and call it a finished track. I don’t see anything wrong with that whereas many people think it always needs a top notch production to make a great song. This isn’t true though. In many cases the music can speak for itself, regardless of production quality. Carson pulled exactly that off and I think he deserves a lot of respect for that!
Halftime with Chedda once more on ‘Trauma’
Track 6 is called ‘Trauma’, featuring Chedda who does a great job on the vocals again! It fits very well halfway into the album with it’s relatively synthetic sounds.
Trauma brings fresh energy after the first rather slow tracks and makes me really appreciate the variety of styles Carson worked into the album. What I especially like about this song is how despite the clean, straight forward vocals the song manages to make a dreamy impression with it’s mellow synth and the percussion work within the beat.
Girl power on track 7
For the seventh track Carson brought in a female vocalist called ‘Averlie’. I don’t know what makes me feel like this but for me it sounds like her voice just merges with these awesome ambient chords. It probably is the reverb, that’s just dialed in to the perfect amount for the vocals to fit in so smoothly but regardless of what does the trick – ‘Floating In Heaven’ is great. The whole song is kinda back in the mix with the organic drums and a heavily reverbed snare.
’18’ is a beautiful orchestral instrumental with a simple piano motive you can hear throughout the whole track. It’s yet another nice blend of organic and synthetic sound with the piano being accompanied by both very lovely swelling strings and a shimmering pad synth that follows along with the bass.
Originally this song wasn’t event supposed to be on the album but after starting to get more and more into it, Carson just decided to throw it onto the album too and I think it was a good decision. It helps balancing all the different stlyes he included in Point Of View.
‘Never Gone’ – Basic Pop? Nah
‘Never Gone’ is the last song on Point Of View with a feature. This time ‘Kirnes’ absolutely delivers on the vocal work and especially in the beginning it sounds like a typical radio song. But when the drums kick in it surprises you with a totally chill song. No doubt, I’d take this with me on a trip to the beach! Carson got the guitar play from a friend and from there on decided to fully produce it and get a singer on it as well. Well done!
Track 10 – Raw sound wins once again
Remember what I said about ‘Lost Without You’? The same is the case with ‘Long Time Friends’.
Once more it’s a pretty raw sound with Carson’s original vocals on top of some drums and a simple guitar recording. Paired with a very special field recording you get this great song! He described it as a campfire-like song and I think that fits. It’s pretty much what I’d expect someone to jam at 1am at the campfire with everyone else just being quiet and listening. This second to last track of the album too shows that a song doesn’t need top-notch production. Instead just a few elements can definitely make a great song sometimes.
Last track and an epic finale!
We’ve now reached the last track of the album! ‘Late Nights’ is the longest of the 11 tracks, lasting five and a half minutes. It’s a perfect end to a very joyful ride, my favourite of the Downtempo/Ambient stlyed tracks on the album. This one got me to think the most out of all songs probably due to the atmosphere. It’s what I imagine finishing a long journey and getting to sit down for the first time in a while and reflect on all the things you’ve experienced in that long time to be like. Funnily enough ‘Late Nights’ was the first track Carson started for the album but in my opinion he made the right choice to put it in at the end.
Ending words on Carson – Point Of View
And that my friends wraps it up for ‘Point Of View’ by Carson!
Again I want to say, it’s an incredible piece of art by someone who in my opinion clearly knows what he’s doing.
Many different little things make you come back several times and listen through the individual songs again to fully grasp everything going on.
The album has great sound and I recommend you go listen to the album yourself once more. You’ll experience 11 unique songs, each with their own twist and story to tell.
Let me know if I should do more of these spotlights on my blog and make sure to support the creator and all the other artists involved in Carson – Point Of View!