Cincinnatians are gearing up for the barrage of summer music releases and among these artists dropping new music is Cincinnati’s own Carriers. Just coming from their regional tour and opening for Anna Burch, Carriers still have more of their synthy, indie rock for us. Their latest album, Now Is The Time For Loving Me, Yourself & Everyone Else, is being released later this summer but the group will be dropping their single, "Peace of Mine," on May 12th. I spoke with Curt Kiser, Carriers' frontman, who shed some light on their sound, their album, and upcoming concert dates.
[The following interview has been edited for clarity.]
You have a new album coming out, what's the title? What can we expect? The title is Now Is The Time For Loving Me, Yourself & Everyone Else. The cassingle (cassette single) is called “Peace Of Mine” which is one of the songs from the album. That will be two songs, “Daily Battle” & Peace Of Mine”. For the full length, you can expect a 54-minute debut LP from a local Cincinnati rock band with heartfelt songs, lots of dreamy guitar & synth layers, bass from John Curley of the Afghan Whigs, percussion from Bryan Devendorf of The National. Really, it’s a look into my thoughts, beliefs, struggles & hope that keeps me moving forward in life and writing more music with people I care a lot about.
Can you explain the band’s sound? Not sure how to answer that one really. Guitars, synth, steady drums, driving bass & the vocal melody usually write the song initially. Overall though, I’d say a few genres that work would be rock, Americana, psychedelic.
What were the band's influences for the album? A lifelong of rock n’ roll songs, our love of ambient drones/soundscapes, 80’s new wave, kraut-rock, Beck’s “Sea Change”, Rich Mullins, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen & some of our favorite records by The War On Drugs, Damien Jurado, Sharon Van Etten, J Tillman, The National, Kurt Vile, Cass McCombs & so many more.
Tell me a little about the production. Where did you record? How long did it take? We recorded this album at Ultrasuede Studios in Camp Washington, where I used to live with my friends in a band called Enlou when I first moved to Cincinnati in 2008. That’s also how I met John Curley. Carriers tunes really started to be fleshed out in 2014 with Cory Pavlinac, Trent Becknell & David Corns as we started playing live in town during the recording process. John was a big part of producing the songs with us once when we went into the studio. He & I would meet up and play through the songs and think of ways to condense them and perform them live with a band and how the songs would best translate. Once they felt good we started tracking them either with Bryan Devendorf or a drum machine to get the main tracks down. Once it felt right with guitar, bass & drums, the rest of the band would join in the studio. Bryan and I would meet at his house and work through the songs and he took them and played beats that fit his vibe & ours and it just felt good and the songs felt realized pretty naturally. Overall, it took about 2 1/2-3 years to record at Ultrasuede, while some of the songs are as old as 6 years and as young as 2 years. We did the finishing overdubs/extra synth with Isaac Karns, who I was in Pomegranates, at his studio called Marble Garden in OTR. It was very much a Cincinnati artists' record, all the way to the mixing and mastering with Chad Wahlbrink and the album photography with Michael Wilson. My Dad even played a little bit of guitar in the last track of the album.
Upcoming concert dates? Oh man, we have a lot of shows in town coming up: May 12 @ MOTR May 26 @ Fountain Square May 31 @ Southgate House June Residency on Tuesday’s @ Comet July 5-7 @ Audiofeed Music Fest in Illinois July 17 @ Northside Tavern August 10 @ Bellwether Festival September 8 @ American Sign Museum
Last thoughts? Looking forward to the release and the rest of the year!
You can hear Carriers on INHAILER Radio. Be sure to get your two-track cassette-single “Peace of Mine” on May 12th and don’t forget to add Carriers to your ‘must-see’ list of shows this summer!