All We Grow
While he’s best known as the percussive muscle behind Bon Iver’s mighty live band, Sean Carey’s frontman skills are far from second rate. On debut album All We Grow (Jagjaguwar), Carey presents himself as not only a deft lyricist but an undeniable composing talent. Throughout Grow, Carey’s hushed vocals take a backseat to some seriously resonating arrangements, which fluctuate between experimental electrics, stripped-down acoustics, and achingly insistent piano compositions. “Action” is a swirling and slightly psychedelic mix of syncopated drums and dissonant electric guitars, while “In the Dirt” acts as the slow-building, piano-fueled centerpiece, concurrently reminiscent of baroque-pop purveyor Sufjan Stevens and stark mood setter Bon Iver. And no matter what the mode, Carey comes across as meticulous, making a case for intricate songcrafting done right. S. Carey plays Velvet Jones (423 State St.) on Friday, May 20, at 8 p.m. Visit clubmercy.com for tickets.