Carry Illinois: Garage Sale [Album]

In my attempts to simply create some background noise during the sometimes bore of editing a website, I wasn’t looking to be moved. I wasn’t looking to feel compelled to stop dead in my digital tracks, and start anew. But, I will be god damned if that didn’t happen when I threw on Garage Sale from the amazing Austin based group Cary Illinois. After only two tracks, just under 8 minutes, I was hooked. What was this gorgeous singer/songwriter led frontier-ship that my ears did hear? I was instantly hooked.

There is something absurdly whimsical about the 8 tracks that make up Garage Sale. It’s sad, but it’s uplifting. It’s catchy yet powerful at the same time. These are qualities that I am constantly searching for in music, but sadly just don’t hear enough of these days. But thankfully, a group like Carry Illinois can come along and make us all believe in the power of music once again. Reading up on the band, I learned that tragedy struck the band hard when their original bassists John Winsor took his own life in March 2016. And this is when I started to understand what was so brilliant with what I was hearing. It was one certain song transition that left me feeling something unexplainable. The beautiful ode to something truly dark entitled “Goodnight”, I would learn was a beautiful bit of poetry dedicated to Winsor’s memory, which made sense. But, then there is this amazing transition from this saddening tale into the uplifting perfectly choreographed track “Electric Charm”. And that is where it hit me. This is a rebirth of self. Garage Sale is a means of continuing on when the storm has passed. It is starting over. It is a proverbial garage sale of all the old memories that have been stewing and causing grief and hopelessness. By slapping a hypothetical price tag on this sadness, and presenting it to the world, front woman Lizzy Lehman and company are able to move on with their lives, yet never forgetting a man who obviously touched their lives so much.

It would behoove me to say that this is one of the greatest track lists I have heard this year. It becomes abundantly clear just how personal these songs are to Lehman, and how fortunate enough we are that she has continued on through her pain to share with us a bit of light even if it may have been extremely hard to do when you are “getting older, seeing darkness you don’t want to see”, to quote the woman herself. And while Lizzy’s brilliant vocals and songwriting are an obvious highlight, it must be pointed out that Darwin Smith shreds perfectly, and keyboardist Derek Morris shines brighter than the sun in his contributions, and is somebody I am definitely going to be keeping tabs on.

I seriously can not recommend Garage Sale enough. This album is 8 tracks of pain-soaked songs that somehow become uplifting in their brutal honesty and perfectly choreographed fortitude. If you’re looking for a bight of light in your darkest days, Carry Illinois is a force you should definitely turn to. I simply cannot say enough great things about this wonderful band that should rightfully be a mainstay in every true music lover’s heart and mind.

Carry Illinois will be officially releasing Garage Sale on May 12th at The Mohawk in Austin, Texas along with acts Star Parks and Lex Land. For more information and tour dates, check out the band’s website for all the details you need to know and love Carry Illinois.

And check out this amazingly produced music video for their track “Alabaster”, performed live at The Ball Farm in Dale Texas:

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About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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