S. Carey & John Raymond Release “Calling”

S. Carey & John Raymond Release "Calling"
S. Carey & John Raymond Photo by Kyle Lehman

Today, GRAMMY-nominated trumpeter John Raymond and Bon Iver sideman S. Carey announced a September 15th release date for their collaborative album Shadowlands. The album announcement comes with the first single “Calling,”

“‘Calling’ is the song that revealed itself as the true confluence of our two sounds, our two approaches to songwriting, and became the springboard for what the entire album could be,” says S. Carey. It begins with a hypnotically pulsing hook that Raymond played on a prepared upright piano with putty on the strings. Once his flugelhorn and Carey’s voice enter overtop, they weave in and out of each other effortlessly. The song blossoms as new layers are gradually added including Aaron Parks on acoustic piano, Jeremy Boettcher on bass, Dave Devine on electric guitar, and Chris Thomson on woodwinds, and it culminates with a soaring flugelhorn solo to the end. As Raymond says, “Sonically, lyrically, and harmonically, the song has this earthy yet ethereal quality to it. It’s always been a sort of north star for the project, so it’s only fitting that it’s the first peek into the Shadowlands world.”

For S. Carey and John Raymond, the opportunity to collaborate has been a long time in the making. After meeting as music students at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire where they studied both classical and jazz music, Carey and Raymond’s careers went in very different directions. Carey would become the right-hand man for Justin Vernon (aka Bon Iver), collaborate with the likes of Sufjan Stevens and Bruce Hornsby among others. Simultaneously, Raymond was carving out a career as an internationally-recognized jazz trumpeter and releasing eight albums of his own and collaborating on many more, including four nominated for a GRAMMY.

The two reunited in 2018 when Raymond sat in with Carey on tour, and they started to float the idea of working on a collaborative project. An initial round of sessions in 2019 yielded the opening two tracks of the album, but much of the other music was still in experimental form until Raymond shared it with Sun Chung, who was producing for ECM Records at the time. Chung took an interest immediately and came on board to further develop the project.

The result is Raymond and Carey’s upcoming co-release, Shadowlands, a stunning, gorgeous collection of songs uprooted from simple genre descriptors. Recorded in the woods of Eau Claire, Wisconsin where the two met almost twenty years ago, the music combines the warmth and beauty of Carey’s aesthetic with the improvisational, spontaneous nature of Raymond’s, blurring the lines between indie folk, forward-thinking jazz, lush pop, and atmospheric electronic music. Soaring and anthemic moments are balanced with the intimate and meditative, giving way to a wide range of expression. Surrounding Carey’s breathy vocals and Raymond’s lyrical horn is an earthy sonic landscape that blends acoustic and electronic textures effortlessly, and the subtle, electric moments of musical interplay throughout the album repeatedly invite you deeper into their new musical world.

Pre-order Shadowlands HERE


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