S. Carey: from Bon Iver to Taylor
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S. Carey: from Bon Iver to Taylor

Musician S. Carey brings solo act to Student Union

By David Seaman | Echo

When Sean Carey first heard the music of Bon Iver in 2007, he was hooked. For two weeks the classically trained percussionist wrote down the drum parts, memorized the lyrics and studied the intricate harmonies. After learning how to play all of the band’s songs, Carey showed off his hard work to Bon Iver leader Justin Vernon at a local show. Vernon signed him on the spot, making Carey drummer and supporting vocalist for the band.

Carey’s dedication to music carried over to his solo act as S. Carey. Next Tuesday, the musician will bring this commitment to a live concert in Taylor’s Student Union. Hosted by the Integration of Faith and Culture (IFC) Cabinet, Carey will perform a set and give a Q&A after the show. Tickets are $3 for students and $5 for the general public.

“I’m excited to see how the crowd interacts with him,” said IFC member and sophomore Savanna Sweeting. “Our last concert was Lucius (last spring), and they were kind of a more upbeat, dance-ish kind of band. S. Carey is a little more mellow.”


S. Carey performing

S. Carey performing

Mellow sounds about right for the musician. His 2010 solo album “All We Grow” is a combination of smooth, lullaby-like vocals with subtle lyricism. Throughout the album, Carey makes use of a wide variety of instruments such as drums, guitar, piano, oboe, viola and xylophone. A pleasantly ambient sound with Brian Wilson-like harmonies results in an all-around intimate listening experience.

“All We Grow” received positive reviews from music publications such as Pitchfork Media and was a hit with audiences. After continuing to perform with Bon Iver and releasing a well-received solo EP in 2012, Carey released his new album “Range of Light” in April. Reflecting on family vacations he took as a child to places such as the Sierra Nevada mountains and Yosemite National Park, the album has an ethereal and almost mystical tone. “Range of Light” pays tribute to the beauty of nature and the laid-back attitude of the musician.

IFC was attracted to S. Carey right away, knowing his music from Bon Iver. Carey, whose October schedule ranges from Minnesota to New York to Wisconsin, was able to make room for Taylor in his schedule.  For the first time, IFC will also have the artist stay after the concert to talk to the audience. “IFC came up with some questions for him about his music, how he got involved and his inspirations,” Sweeting said.

S. Carey and his backing band will perform their unique indie sound in the Union on Oct. 7. Doors open at 8 p.m., with the concert beginning at 8:30 p.m. Carey will also be performing in Indianapolis on Oct. 12 at The HI-FI.


S. Carey's latest album "Range of Light"

S. Carey’s latest album “Range of Light”

Take a listen before the concert:

Range of Light (2014)

“Crown the Pines”-a bouncing melody and Beach Boys-like harmonies play as Carey sings about the haunting and beautiful presence of nature

“Fire-scene”-Carey uses a forest fire as the setting for his pleas for honesty


All We Grow (2010)

“In the Dirt”-a song that appears in both “House” and “The Good Wife.” Carey simply and wonderfully reassures an unnamed person that he will be there

“In the Stream”- “Their kids can’t go to school/In the morning/Because narcotics grow better than books,” Carey laments over soft vocals, strings and percussion in a moving plea for the lost people in the world.

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