Los Angeles-based indie duo Carrousel have revealed their multidimensional 10-track album Magnificent Desolation. Comprising of Joel Piedt (songwriter, vocals, production) and Sharon Piedt (songwriter, vocals), Carrousel’s futurist pop melodies wane toward the prophetic, delineating several genres at once with enigmatic cohesion and surprising grit.
Carrousel kicked off this year with their EP I Wasn’t Well, which they supported with two experimental music videos for “Psychobabble Drama” and “A Solitary Soul,” and a month-long residency at Los Angeles’ famed Hotel Cafe. With each new release, the band has welcomed us further into the Carrousel universe, emerging fully formed in their new 10-track album which examines the fraught dystopia of life and the spiraling process of depression, both within an individual and a nation. In addition to the songs already heard on I Wasn’t Well, Magnificent Desolation also introduces 6 new tracks, “Digital Subterfuge,” “Exile in NY,” “My Winter,” “Dust (Hallelujah, Cyber Soma),” “Scream,” and “Feels Like Going Home.”
Magnificent Desolation is one part of a four album project that pays homage to Joel’s hometown of Memphis. Since moving away from the South, the region has become intrinsic to the band’s identity and music: remembering Memphis as childhood, as allegory, as the origins of blues, soul and rock-n-roll and, like folklore, as Eden — a place that will outlast what it is and what it was and become a destination wherein to return: Memphis as beauty, Memphis, even, as Heaven.
To create the new album, the couple paired scraping digital synths with their analog predecessors, tracked biting vocals and guitars with old tube mics and consoles, printed tracks to cassette tape for its imparting warmth, building, ultimately, a sound which conveys the reality of depression and suicide amidst the reality of an alternative route. Thus the clarity of pain is purposefully distorted; it is pain held next to the hope of something else. Composed of neither the present nor past, Magnificent Desolation belongs instead to the illusory future—and the possibilities awaiting us there—including this new momentous ringing of sound.