S. Carey – Hundred Acres review

Secret Meeting score: 76

by Philip Moss

As Winter starts to fade away, waking up to a glimmer of sunlight creeping through the curtains can make all the difference to your mood. And S. Carey’s new record, Hundred Acres, is the perfect soundtrack for the sprouting of spring flowers in late February.

Drawing you in to Carey’s idea of a utopian ambience, Hideout grows into a delicate, Sigur Ros evoking middle 8 as tripping guitars, choral vocals and sweeping orchestrations carry the song to its magnificently understated conclusion.

Lyrically, the record does – like previous efforts – drift by without making too much of a mark. But musically the album is far more embellished than the gentle ambience of 2014’s Range of LightYellowstone, again, is a stunning, pastoral wash of folk pop – with glockenspiels and layered vocals that float by, before slipping into a Sufjan Stevens summoning, stretched falsetto

Lead single, Fool’s Gold, opens with the strumming of panned acoustics before dreamy backwards guitars dance and weave as Carey’s beautifully soft, double vocal seeps through into your conscious. Emery is all rolling drums and melancholic strings, while the title track, Hundred Acres, is a web of picked guitars that would nestle perfectly onto Fleet Foxes’ debut record.

S. Carey may be best known for his day job as a core member of Justin Vernon’s, Bon Iver. But on this showing, he is ready to move into the light in his own right. So close your eyes and let the warmth seep in.