With Carriage, Toronto’s Forest City Lovers have established themselves as one of todays most profound female-led bands. Formed in 2006, Kat Burns and Co. have released four full-length albums, yet none have captured the pure beauty of Burns’ abilities quite like Carriage.
The album starts off in a very Antlers-esque way, with the dramatic, yet simplistic keys of Phodilus & Tyto. This song is a somber introduction to an otherwise (musically) cheerful record. Burns’ witty storytelling ability is highlighted as she seems to be recognizing her surroundings in a new way. “Take a good look around as the city fades away” resonates in a momentous way, as the songs quickly builds into a triumphant realization of what seems to be the end of a relationship.
The cheerful harmonies and eventual upbeat tempo of Tell Me, Cancer are a diversion from the actual contents of the song. It is, without a doubt, a mournful tune in which Burns’ gorgeous vocals shine bright. Followed by the equally great Minneapolis, Sea to Land, and Keep The Kids Inside, it becomes clear that this album is as consistent as Mariano Rivera (best closer in the history of baseball).
It’s hard to listen to Burns without thinking of other great female musicians of our time; Jenny Lewis, Regina Spektor, Feist, and others now have a new companion in their circle of brilliance. Forest City Lovers’ Carriage is best when listened to in its entirety. Burns’ words of despair, realization, acceptance, and desire never waver; no fillers or useful phrases. One of my favorites of the album is their most popular song on iTunes right now, If I Were a Tree. It’s raunchy in a very respectable way, and is full of clever metaphors.
Not once during my time listening to this album did I feel as if any aspect of their songs were forced, something rare in the realm of bubbly indie pop. Kat Burns is funny, cute, and obviously quite smart as Carriage is as clever an album as they come; never trying too hard to be something that it’s not. This is the first album I’ve ever given a Beyond Buzz rating, yet it feels fitting as I will have this one on repeat for the rest of the summer. I give Carriage a 9.2 out of 10.