The story of Carolina Liar’s rise to fame is far from ordinary. The L.A.-based six-piece, who recently scored a major label deal with Atlantic Records-as well as a sweet gig touring alongside Phantom Planet and One Republic-is the brainchild of frontman and leading songwriter Chad Wolf. After moving to the City of Angels from South Carolina at the age of 22, Wolf spent time fumbling through jobs and fine-tuning his music. He quickly found work as an intern with famed songwriter Diane Warren (Aerosmith, Gloria Estefan, Aaliyah), who directed the aspiring musician to travel to Europe and seek guidance from professionals there.
Halfway across the world-and quickly running out of money-Wolf began a job at a small European label. From there he scored a temporary gig house-sitting for a close friend of the decorated and illustrious Swedish producer Max Martin, who’s mixed and mastered hits for everyone from Britney Spears to A-Ha. The unlikely duo quickly became friends, and once Martin eventually got his hands on some of Wolf’s material, the ball began rolling.
Back in California-and with the help of some famous musical talents and a talented band of musicians-Wolf went to work on Carolina Liar’s debut disk, Coming to Terms. The 12-track LP, which was released by Atlantic this past May, is part Killers-esque neo New Wave (“I’m Not Over”), part sunny and poppy tunes that sound a lot like early Phantom Planet (“Show Me What I’m Looking For”), and part deeply complicated ruminations on topics ranging from emotional emptiness to Wolf’s friend’s battle with depression (“Beautiful World”). The overall effect is a radio-friendly release that still manages to sound heartfelt and raw-and isn’t drowning in computer effects and overly-produced arrangements.
This Sunday, July 20, Wolf will take a break from his ongoing amphitheatre tour for a special, intimate performance at SOhO (1221 State St.) with The Bowmans. The KJEE-sponsored all-ages show will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $9. Visit sohosb.com or call 962-7776 for details. And for more about Carolina Liar, visit carolinaliar.com.