Where to Swim is one of those albums that really needs to be listened to more than once to be appreciated. In our fast paced world, I wonder if people will be willing to do so or move on to the next catchy thing that comes along.
– SURVIVING THE GOLDEN AGE
Led by songwriter Cory Gray who plays keyboards and horns (and bass on one track) the songs flow like a river on a glorious summer day. Mind you, the lyrics are pretty dark at times but the guitar licks and lazy keyboards will lift the dread of House Arrest.
– HERE COMES THE FLOOD, NETHERLANDS
As might have been gleaned from my appraisal of their last album, I love these folks’ sound. Keyboard-heavy, shady, and subtle, Carcrashlander’s songs boast an insidious sort of infectiousness — shifting melodic phrases combine with electric keys synergistically, eliciting irresistible, moody nuggets like blissful “Where to Swim” and noir-esque “Behind You in Line.”
– INDIEVILLE.COM, CANADA
Gray is one of those guys who ,despite prodigious talent, will most likely never become a household name but will be invaluable to a music scene like Portland where, in addition to helping out tons of other musicians, he also releases terrific low-key records like this one. Good music is always out there, you just need to find it. Find this.
-DAGGERZINE, PORTLAND, OR
More than anything else, what’s most enjoyable about Where To Swim is Cory Gray’s seemingly innate capacity for crafting the sort of tight hooks so intrinsic to good pop music. Regardless of whatever genre he’s attempting to co-opt for the purposes of Carcrashlander, Gray wraps his hushed vocals around clean melodies that remind me of a delicate combination of Starflyer 59, The Shins, Wilco, and Cake (minus that band’s need to be intentionally quirky).
– OREGON MUSIC NEWS
Where to Swim balances its more ponderous moments with graceful trumpet and pedal steel, and every time things begin to get gruff, Carcrashlander eases up on the throttle with woozy warmth.
– PORTLAND MERCURY
CCL’s waltzing, grooving, jaunty, steady, marching, and meandering rhythms frame an impenetrably surreal shell where, ironically (in the context of such fine drumming), time becomes arbitrary, non-linear. “Rewind the tape i wanna listen to my first mistake,” Gray pleads and, under such circumstances, one would conclude he can.
– THE HEART WILL BURN RIGHT OUT, PORTLAND
Being alluring to the listener is not Carcrashlander’s main object; here, music is valued as much for its harshness as its sweetness – or anything in between – as long as it’s true to the song. The storm passes and the beauty shows through: there’s a beat to sway to, a line that catches our ear and makes us smile.
– PORTLAND MERCURY CO-OP
Many of Cory Gray’s new compositions included in this record seem to have sprung from sheer improvisation, from the simple combination of sounds at random. Those pieces, though, start to shape up magically in a slow and mysterious way until, eventually, adopting a final appearance that is solid, coherent and tremendously elegant.
– CIELO LIQUIDO
Laid-back, buttery indie rock made warmer by a cheap-sounding electric piano and soft-spoken vocals. A little psychedelic and quirky, these guys have the quintessential Pacific Northwest indie rock sound. I don’t know what they look like, but I’m assuming full beards are involved. Bottom Line: Equal parts comforting and creepy. Kind of like a lingering hug from a reclusive uncle.
The album drips with horns and keyboards. The horn section sounds like a mad professor’s combination of your high school’s jazz band and a New Orleans funeral band; plodding arrangements where everyone seems to play a different key and tempo while somehow holding it together. The keyboards split the difference between retro-soul, a la Stevie Wonder, and space-aged bachelor-pad jazz; serving to warm the album and lift the down-tempo moments.
– AMPLIFIER MAGAZINE
Things get kinda weird and less standard the deeper you wade in, though, with ‘Boatful Of Buckeyes’ tossing in bimbling keys robbed from an Air song while ‘Overgrown’ marries naff drum FX to harem horns and the really rather awful ‘Rosie’ arses around with a maudlin sense of honky-tonk before ending in high-kicking Russian folkdance.
– COLLECTIVE ZINE UK
What i love about cory gray’s music is that there is always an element to each song – a woozy guitar solo, a drum machine on its last legs – that feels like it is on the verge of collapsing, but magically, it never does. i don’t know if this is a testament to his playing or his songwriting or simply pure luck. nevertheless, it makes for the kind of off-kilter listening experience that i tend to gravitate towards.
– THE VOICE OF ENERGY
Carcrashlander is like a more lazily drunken version of Out of the Fierce Parade: the piano-drenched songs stumble in all the right places, and the trumpets and dirge-like drums create a loose-tie atmosphere.
– BOHO BEAT