31 July 2016

Mackin Carroll - Damascus

Mackin Carroll is an artist who is based in Los Angeles, California, he is in his twenties, he is the front man of a band called The Nova Darlings (love that name BTW) and this is his second release.  I was sent an email asking for a review a while ago and it is about time I started it.  The press release that came with the review request is more like a conversation with the artist, as if he is being interviewed and it is was a useful insight to this man.  It spoke of hope, desires, dreams and there is a hunger to the man as well, as need to perform as well.  So with that in mind, it is time to see how the Damascus EP has turned out.

Starting off the EP is "Ashes on the Bridge" is a song about the early stages of relationships, putting one's foot in your mouth and how interactions with humans can be a truly awkward and exciting time.  There is forgiveness in the words, there is desire mixed with the promise of hope and it is a beautifully tender moment.  It is also a song that I would have called a Scrubs tune - when the TV show Scrubs was about, when they had a moment that the cast would be looking wistfully into the distance and contemplating their lot - this song would have been perfect for that moment.  I really love the melancholy of the song, the bittersweet taint to the music and the reflective nature of the song.  The second song on the release is "Cigarettes & Fatherhood", a song about wishing the smoking was a hobby that had been picked up and the wish of Fatherhood.  This is Mackin Carroll's favourite song from the release and I can see why that is.  It is a gentle and beautiful number, showing a longing for a connection which is somehow mixed in with wanting to be alone at the same time.  It is such a contradiction of terms, the hints of wanting to be alone and then the dreams of being a dad as well; it is a beautiful number and it is a fragile number as well.  Ending the EP is "Sleepwalking" which is about not quite being where you want to be, having desires in you which are achievable and you know the fulfilment will be worth it, but not quite being there yet.  Once again, it is a beautiful number about self-doubt and once again it has desires in the mix.  I love the ending of this song, learning to give oneself a break and learning it as well.  It is a positive number to end this EP.

For a three track EP, this is very engaging from the start.  An acoustic driven three track release that showcases a man who is struggling with himself and the world that is around him.  Each song is a beautiful story of hopes, desires and unresolved issues that are part of this life.  It is a good induction to Mackin Carroll and I hope to be hearing more from this man as the years go by.

4 out of five - This is really good, well worth checking out

Top track - Ashes on the Bridge

You can purchase Damascus from the Mackin Carroll Bandcamp page here

You can stream Damascus on Soundcloud here

You can visit the Mackin Carroll website here

You can follow the activities of Mackin Carroll on Facebook here

At the time of writing, Damascus is not available on Spotify, Deezer, etc.

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