There is something enchanting about the potential for boundlessness that can come with making art, but rarely do artists feel free enough to truly make what they want. Jacob Snider’s Carrier (featuring Armand Hirsch), though, is an ambitious, untethered debut full of transcendent moments. Recorded in Los Angeles by legendary producer Tony Berg (Blake Mills, Beck, Fiona Apple), Carrier (featuring Armand Hirsch) employs a unique and invigorating sonic palette on impressionistic, winding songs that offer alluring glimpses into their writer’s psyche. “I’m wary about ‘telling a story’ too much,” Snider once said in an interview with Philadelphia’s WXPN, “as the stories we tell tend to simplify and make coherent the things of life that are anything but simple or coherent.”
The songs are certainly not simple, as they intermingle Snider’s tenor with soundscapes that employ a collection of tools including banjo, marxophone, and inventive percussion played by the prodigious multi-instrumentalist Armand Hirsch (a Bobby McFerrin tourmate) as well as strings performed by Rob Moose (Bon Iver, Sufjan Stevens, Ben Folds). Yet they do cohere, creating a pensive but playful effect colored by smart, sparse arrangements that are full but not fussy. Highlights include “Sing it Straight,” which opens the affair with handclap percussion and gorgeous vocal harmonies; “I Am Not All Right,” which explores self-doubt; the sinister, rolling title track; and “Get it Off My Chest,” which ends the album on a haunting note and includes guest vocals from singer-songwriter Jesca Hoop. The album is interspersed with instrumental interludes – played by Moose – that divide it nicely into three distinct movements.
“Making heartfelt, a little eccentric, folk-leaning pop, Jacob Snider is definitely one to watch… He marries crafty production with great songs… Super debut.”
–Andrew Jervis, Bandcamp chief curator
“A musical journey to a folk/pop outer space that is so different from anything else around at the moment. …You’d expect this album from a seasoned artist.”
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