I first came across the duo of Nicklas Flinck and Carl Westholm with the release of their second album, ‘Superhero’, back in 2003. But although I also heard ‘Man Made Machine’ in 2005 it wasn’t until 2018 that I finally heard the next two albums. But after 2010’s ‘Nymf’ the band took a break, only coming back in 2017 to produce ‘Emerger’ (which I have yet to hear). There was so much energy coming out of the sessions that the day after the release party they were back in the studio, and ‘Subimago’ is the result of that. Looking back at my reviews from 15 years ago, I stated they were very influenced by Floyd but my review of ‘Nymf’ said just how much they had changed, and this is a direct continuation. This is modern melodic progressive rock with some keyboard sounds dragging it firmly back into the Seventies, yet with wonderful hooks and harmonies which makes one also think very much of the Nineties.
There is a lot of guitar at times, but also plenty of keyboards, and this is very much a rock album with wonderful vocals which is both instantly enjoyable as well as demanding further listening. The sheer accessibility of this is a delight, and the more one plays it the more there is to discover as there are hidden depths which take time to uncover and unpeel. IQ, Jadis, Flower Kings, Anekdoten, Galahad and so many others have imparted some influences into Carptree yet at the same time they are quite unlike any of them. The nature of being a duo, combining with NFO (No future Orchestra, who have the same personnel as last time) is very different to others. Combining this with focus on analogue instruments and amplifiers together with an analogue master results in a warm, organic and highly diversified album with a detailed texture. Let’s hope the momentum continues as we all need to hear more music from these guys. http://www.carptree.com