Audio Review: Sean Carpio – Waves of a Present

Posted 7 months ago in Music Reviews

Music Current 20 mar-15 apr – Desktop

Sean Carpio

Waves of a Present

 [Ten Spot Records]

Sean Carpio’s debut solo album Waves of a Present, makes a one-man-band of the trained jazz drummer. Over twenty minutes, the multi-instrumentalist delivers a tranche of dreamy tracks that float between sombre and ethereal moods. This energy and atmosphere is built-up through the dense, reverb-drenched production and the climactic presence of thick, booming percussion, which both make a consistent appearance across the six tracks.

Ancestral Love captures the overall mood well, swelling from downtrodden energy to something higher with the help of its pleasantly off-kilter drumming. A worthy lead single, accompanied by a visually dreamlike video, it is easily the catchiest track on the record, buoyed by Carpio’s shoegazing vocals and the live, smoky ambience it captures. Dunes is calmer chamber pop, with cleaner chords and harmony straight from the Lennon-McCartney playbook happily transplanted to a reserved but shimmering setting.

A slightly more grooving soundscape flows in a lighter and carefree manner in Floating Mountain, where Aoife Nessa Frances‘ voice brings a warm complement, though it seems to resolve in no particular direction. Equally, the final track, Sm/Nd, which adopts a sedate and proggy mood and features menacing, growling whispers under the distant harmonies throughout the album, stops suddenly, disturbing its harsher energy and jammy flow.

The LP’s title refers to a method of dating meteorites, one of many allusions to the cosmos. Throughout, Waves of a Present reflects on human experiences of love, spirit, and the vastness of time, diluted by a metaphysical, even sci-fi lyrical distance.

Words: Finghín Little


The key to the city. Straight to your inbox. Sign up for our newsletter.