Starting out with mellow harmonies, stripped down vocals, and low-thrumming guitar, "Rose Petals", the first track off of S. Carey
's Hundred Acres
sets the tone beautifully. The record is rich with depictions of natural landscapes, something so refreshing in a world full of synthesizers and heavy bass drops. With delicate and steady instrumentation, a crooning voice somewhere between Sufjan Stevens and Iron and Wine, and lyrics that delve deep into a world of lush farmhouse fields and deep blue streams, S. Carey's ability to transport the listener to another time and place with the softness of his guitar is tremendous.
With the title track things kick up a little bit. "Hundred Acres" is a highlight, with its full-throated harmony, Carey's voice burbling and wandering like the streams and fields he sings about. The emotion remains present as Carey croons "all we need is a hundred acres / and some room to breathe". The consecutive tracks "The More I See" and "Fool's Gold" pick up the pace a bit more, with more percussion as the guitar ebbs and flows. The gently whispering vocals, delicate guitar and bells remind listeners of M. Ward or the group that he's in, Bon Iver. The album ends on a meditative note with "Meadow Song," which actually includes some synths and a grittier hook, rounding out the album nicely.
Through a combination of earnest lyrics and lush melodies, this album takes beautiful natural scenery and makes it into the most beautiful music, as idyllic as the childhood you always wished you had. While tracks like "Rose Petals" take you to somewhere low and gentle, "Meadow Song" and "Fools Gold" give you something more to chew on, with the deeper emotions hiding just somewhere past the immaculate harmonies. The music is bound to put you on some beautiful natural landscape far away, full of luscious instrumentation and Carey's knowing voice.