First Impression : Carw : Lovers & Lanterns

Cardiff based singer-songwriter Carw is from North Wales, but other autobiographical details on his career are currently scant. Perhaps that should be no surprise, there is a clear signal in the project's name - Carw is Welsh for deer, which are shy, withdrawn animals at best.

All we can do for now is let the music speak for itself, and it will do that emphatically soon enough as a debut album is slated for this autumn on Blinc Records. Before then two singles - Lanterns and Lovers - may be taken to help sketch out Carw's influences, at the forefront of which are the symphonic guitars of Robin Guthrie, the elation of Balearic House and a deep understanding of what made 80s electronic pop work.

Lanterns was released in May - it was played on BBC Radio 6 Music and BBC Radio Wales, and drew comparisons to both Depeche Mode and Cocteau Twins. The follow up, Lovers (released 10.08.18), is a slice of dancing, radiant electro-pop with unashamed roots in the past (memories of the synth-based fluency of Erasure and the Pet Shop Boys might be rightly stirred on first listening).

The album, Skin Shed (out October 12th), is a stunning fusion of electro and dream pop. There is a rough template for most of the songs; almost wordless vocals (the lyrics are in English and Welsh) are woven with gracefully drifting then soaring electronica - all subtly punctuated as choruses glide in and out, and a precise, plangent guitar picks through the melodies. But the effect is consistent too - Skin Shed is a rolling wave of exalted, expansive electronic pop music.

CARW I Lanterns