Sean Carey is better known as the drummer and supporting vocalist from the Grammy award-winning band Bon Iver. Carey joined with Justin Vernon in 2007 by learning all of the songs and showing Justin when playing as an opener for Bon Iver.
It’s not very surprising that his independent project as S. Carey sounds pretty similar to the understated indie folk of Bon Iver. The project was almost an accident, conceived through musical experimentation done while off tour. Carey does most of the playing you hear on the album, but invites friends, including fellow band mates from Bon Iver, to join him for the things he can’t quite play himself. Range of Light, his second album, also includes guest vocals from Vernon.
S. Carey offers variety of sounds and textures that don’t quite overwhelm, but stay right at a level of expression that invites you to take a closer listen. Carey makes use of his percussive roots but allows guitar, piano, strings and flashes of flute or other instruments to carry his vocals (which aren’t really the focus anyway) into a place of intimacy and subtlety.
There are no large, sweeping overtures, no intense dynamic or tempo changes, and over all, S. Carey’s music isn’t something to be considered “dramatic,” but there is plenty of pleasure in the small stuff to appreciate.
~ Kendra Kamp