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
The Swedish duo with friends is releasing their 7th full-length album both energized and inspired by making their last release and in a much shorter time than usual. The recordings started the very same day as the release Party for “Emerger”. After the long hiatus after Nymf there was momentum enough for more than one release with a band now perfectly calibrated and compositions given time to grow. Here you get the distinctly familiar Carptree sound and something completely new.
As always NFO (No future orchestra) is present with the same personnel as last time. With a distinct focus on analog instruments and amplifiers and finally an analog master the result is a warm, organic and highly diversified album with a detailed texture.
The album is called Subimago, hinting development and transformance and the album is a hybrid in simplicity and complexity in both music and lyrics.
Welcome / By Your Own Choice / World Without Mind / Instead Of Life / Celestial Sky / Someone Else ́s Play / Eye Of The Storm / Sum Of All Senses
The first four albums were all released two years apart, but it took three years for the fifth to see the light of day, and what wasn’t understood at the time was that this would be the last album until a return some seven years later with 2017’s ‘Emerger’. Edelönn, Fandén and Perkovic were all still involved alongside the duo of Flinck and Westholm, but there had been a musical shift between this album and the previous ones. There is now a bleakness, almost a desperation, while the music has also become heavier and more symphonic. There is definitely the feeling that the band has become much more of a quintet than just a duo, and while the orchestral feel from the earlier albums is still here, this is a band starting to move away from what they had been doing.
Between this album and the previous one, Westholm had released a couple of albums under the name of Jupiter Society, which were musically very different to Carptree and there is no doubt that at this point this band were moving into a much rockier direction than they had previously. Carl was to become heavily involved in HM acts, including the mighty Candlemass, and although this could never be thought of as a heavy album, it is indeed a step change from what had happened before. Niclas has a voice that I have seen compared to Hogarth, but in fairness to both of them he is much more like Gabriel, and while he has always seemed at home in the gentler material, when given the opportunity to put himself more to the fore, as on the dynamically changing and challenging “Land of Plenty” he relishes the opportunity.
Of the four albums I have heard from Carptree this is definitely the most diverse in its approach, while also the most interesting. I may be behind the times, but I am so glad that this 2010 album has finally come my way. www.carptree.com
Although I really enjoyed Carptree’s second and third albums, I somehow lost touch with what happened after that, and it is only now that I have heard their third album, ‘Insekt’, which was released in 2007. As with their earlier albums, the band is still a duo of singer Niclas Flinck together with keyboard player Carl Westholm, plus a few guests. Ulf Edelönn (guitars, bass), Stefan Fandén (guitars, bass) and drummer Jejo Perkovic were all involved with the previous few albums as well, while Edelönn goes all the way back to the debut, so although these three may not be seen as being full members there is no doubting there impact on the overall sound and the knowledge of what is required.
The No Future Orchestra, which first appeared on 2003’s ‘Superhero’, and continued through ‘Man Made Machine’ is still here on ‘Insekt’, while the use of the Trollhättan Chamber Choir on a couple of songs is inspired. This all assists in providing Carptree with a sound that really is quite unlike many others around. There will always be some who feel that the guys belong in neo-prog, but in reality they mixing the likes of Pink Floyd and Peter Gabriel together, while interestingly one can hear later period Big Big Train in what they are providing here, but of course ‘Insekt’ was released more than ten years ago so who influenced who? It may have taken me way too long to finally hear this album, but I am so glad that I have, as this is yet another great release from the Swedish duo. www.carptree.com
Swedish Prog Ensemble Carptree Recording New Album “Emerger” To Be Released On Reingold Records!
Sweden – Swedish prog ensemble Carptree will be releasing their new video titled “Fleeting Deep” in February. The track comes from their highly anticipated forthcoming album “Emerger” to be released on April 7th!
Carptree is a Swedish progressive symphonic rock duo made featuring Carl Westholm (keyboards, composer, producer) and Nicklas Flinck (vocals, composer, lyrics). Although Carptree is a duo they are almost always accompanied by the No Future Orchestra (NFO); A group of people from known and unknown other Swedish acts, who add their personal touch, more or less frequent. This is also the basis for other important people (OIP) who are also a part of the creative process in the making of a Carptree album.
Says the band, “This album was a really slow starter, we started already in 2014 with some of the songs, the first two song was ‘Fleeting Deep’ and ‘Ultimately Lifeless’ which both have taken a lot of different shapes along the process. ‘Between Extremes’ is also a song that has been around in different shapes for many years, first we recorded it in 2009, but was not happy and cut it down to a short version which ended up on Nymf ‘Between Extremes, Prelude’, then rewrote it and planned to release it as a single in 2012 but was not happy with the result. So again we rewrote it and when we recorded it with Jesper Skarin on the drums and Carl rerecorded everything with just his Fender Rhodes and organ and we were finally happy with it. That’s why we wanted to release that song already in May 2016 as a Maxi single to give that special song a chance to stand on it’s own.”
“A coherent jewel of preogressive rock” – Metal observer
As always the duo used the “No Future Orchestra” on the new album, which is a loosely connected group of musicians very important to Carptree. Also on this album Jesper Skarin joined in on drums and percussion and Carl has played some bass and guitars. Except the mellotrons that are taken from a sampler software, all instruments and amplifiers on this album are analogue just as the mix and mastering.
On the CD there will be 8 songs including a remixed version of “Dwindle Into Greatness” (The B-side of the Maxi single released in May 2016) as a bonus track. The vinyl version will have the other 7 tracks and will be release approximately one month after the CD on the FOSFOR Creation label. (Two versions, Black and transparent Marine blue)
“You can´t get better music than this” – Progressiveworld.net
The progressive duo Carptree was formed in 1997 in Stockholm, Sweden, by the songwriters Niclas Flinck, vocals, and Carl Westholm, keyboards and production. Under the years 2001-2010 they released 5 albums and did some live performances. The Album “Superhero” in 2003 was the first to gain a wide popularity among prog listeners around the world. “Man made machine” in 2005 was release both on their own label FOSFOR Creation and Insideout and got an even wider distribution, then followed by “Insekt” 2007 and “Nymf” in 2010 where the latter also was released as a Vinyl LP in 2011 by Ritual echo records. Carl Westholm has apart from this project been a member of some heavy Metal acts like Candlemass, Krux and Avatarium and lately live keyboard player with Tiamat. Between 2008 and 2013 he also released three albums under the name Jupiter Society and has also played on some Declan Burke albums.
The newest member of No Future Orchestra is Jesper Skarin on drums known from Swedish acts like Vak and Switch Open and others. Even though Niclas and Carl writes and produce everything No Future Orchestra is way more than just a bunch of hired guns as they have over the years contributed a lot of creative input and support.
For all of you that long for music with integrity and diversity, open you arms for the “Emerger”, Carptree is back!
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