First of all, Holy Cow. Carpet of Horses, the 4 song debut EP by the band of the same name is special. The first showing from Carpet of Horses is ambient and eerie, haunting and captivating all at the same time. In a certain way the ambience reminds me of Band of Horses, but that may just be the namesake.
“Take Hold” is the first track on the too-short EP (I say this because i really want some more). The tone of the song is quite dark despite the only lyrics being “Take Hold”. The song (along with the rest of the album) was recorded in Germany, and Mixed/Mastered right here at home, in Toronto/London. “Take Hold” does just that. The Band of Horses/Explosions in the Sky feel of the song is substantially more folk-ish than either of the previously mentioned bands, and its uniqueness grips you and doesn’t let go.
“Night Song” is the next song, and it has much the same feel as “Take Hold”. The vocal presence in this song is what stands out most. The haunting, hollow reverberated voices coupled with smooth acoustic and slide guitars makes “Night Song” irresistible.
The opening harmonies in “Fall Song” are impeccable. The lyrics are strong and rich, and the instrumentation behind it all is sparse and lets the voices carry the song. There are brief flourishes of piano, which round out and highlight the song’s strong vocal performance. “Train Tracks” is the final song, featuring a much more distorted sound and more ominous feel than any of the previous three tracks. There are some interesting sonic highlights, which help to close out the too-short EP.
As far I’m concerned, Carpet of Horses have put forth an excellent first effort. The 4 songs hang together tonally and conceptually, and there are no real weaknesses in any of them.
The EP is a name-your-price download on Bandcamp.
Top Tracks: “Fall Song”; “Train Tracks”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)