Back in November 2019, Vincent Carr’s SUMIC released ‘New Paeans’, a complex album blending folk, prog, a touch of world music and a love of Mike Oldfield’s grandness. It was one of the year’s best DIY releases. It was certainly one that 90% of the internet’s prog community would have missed, being busy as they were, whining about the current line up of Yes.
It would be a hard act to follow. As if realising this, Vincent has taken a dramatic left turn for his current “single” ‘Strolling Early Morning’ by sweeping away much of that album’s complex nature and concentrating instead on a pure melody. The track begins with a very folk influenced riff, and in fact, the tune and corresponding natural vocal might suggest Carr had been listening to Ralph McTell during the pandemic lockdown of 2020. He’s worked within folk sounds before – his ‘Re-Kindled’ release from 2016 has a very pastoral feel; all English countryside and Medieval castles – but this is something different. It’s the sound of a prog(ish) musician daring to progress.
Those who love prog with a capital P need not worry, though, since the happier folk strains are complimented by a very familiar voice and guitar sound, and the electric parts of the track very much echo the more melodic bits of ‘New Paeans’ in the best possible way. It may only be a brief glimpse into new music by Carr’s standards, but it definitely promises good things ahead.
Take a listen to ‘Strolling Early Morning’ below.