Musical Monday – Tigermending by Carina Round
I forget now how I found Carina Round – I’m pretty sure it was from YouTube surfing. I remember being enchanted by “Stolen Car” and I fell in love with the video for “Take the Money.” Glad I did find her, though, because Tigermending, her latest album, is good.
It starts with the dreamy “Pick Up the Phone,” which is interlaced with grinding, scraping guitar riffs here and there. And how handy! A video!
What I like about the album is that the songs flow naturally into one another. The album starts on a slow dreamy song, and the second song, “The Last Time,” starts slow. Then it builds to a powerful cry by Round and returns to a slow and evenly paced beat. Eventually the heavier drums and guitar take over, though Round’s singing becomes softer, almost tired. When it ends, it ends mid-lyric. There’s a beat or two, to let it sink in that the song is actually over, and then “Girl and the Ghost” steps in.
“Girl and the Ghost” tilts even more towards heavy sounds, and there are points where Round emphasizes lyrics by forcing them out over separated musical beats. “What’s – that – going – on?”, each word like a little jab from her ribs to yours, a staccato underline of drums for each word.
The fourth song, “You and Me”, is without a doubt my favorite on the album. And, as with many things that I get really excited about, or that I enjoy too much or too deeply, I can’t describe it. Just listen. It’s great.
I want to call it repetitive, but with Carina Round it isn’t – the first half of this album has a general trend, where the song starts slow and quiet, maybe some soft words and gentle strings being plucked. But each song has a very distinct feel to it. I think a lot of what is happening here is happening through the vocals. Round is a skilled singer, moving easily from a rock-and-roll shout to croons and sly tones mid-song.
One thing I don’t like is the cover booklet. The lyrics are hard to read, because they are “artfully” jumbled together, lines running over each other, some blending into the shadows of the background photos. I can find the lyrics online, it’s just – you can’t always rely on those awful lyric sites, you know? But for the most part, I can hear the words clearly in the songs, so it’s no big deal.
The up, up then descending guitar riff at the start of Weird Dream fits perfectly with the title. Round does a point-counterpoint with herself, singing one phrase, and then turning back on herself with a higher-pitched line right after, as if her answers are coming from herself in a dream. Nicely done, interesting, enjoyable. And the song builds to a crashing finale, with Round crooning almost behind the music.
Haha, and “Mother’s Pride” starts with the line “Mother, mother, you are a disgusting liar.” It’s an accusatory song, and there’s some angry pounding that the instruments do in this song that is really excellent.
Ohhh but the beginning of “The Secret of Drowning” feels much more like a scary dream. And then Round’s voice comes in, reverberating slightly. She lets us know that she knows the secret of drowning – it’s to stay calm and not panic. Shiver! There’s another voice in there too, it sounds like a male voice but it’s so quiet I can’t tell.
We are eased back to reality with “Simplicity Hurts,” a slow and gentle song that starts off sounding a little like a lullaby. Maybe we aren’t going back to reality – maybe, when we leave the album, we are going to sleep! Tigermending is reality! We’re dreaming! I’M SO DEEP.
Overall, Tigermending is, at the absolute least, right up at the top of the Mid-Range. I’m not sure it’s Top Tier, I’ll have to listen to my Top Tier albums again and compare. But in either case, it’s an amazing album and you should all get it and listen to it.