Luna Carina: "Lily" Album Review
By Jez Parkinson-Stuart
“Lily” Released on 8th April 2022 by Luna Carina
Members: Jacob Smith and Jack Print.
Avowed experimental dream-pop project from the South of England release their debut album “Lily” Friday 8th April 22.
Although Luna Carina consists of two band members, they are master collaborators, with almost every song on the 14-track record featuring an array of artistic talent. Jacob and Jack have been friends for years, but only last year it was Jacob that approached Jack to join the band. So halfway through composing “Lily” Jack was born into Luna Carina. Due to their synonymous musical tastes and early admiration for ‘Queens of the Stone Age’ it was a no brainer.
The new record “Lily” sees the twosome establish a nuance of sounds, mixing a variety of genres. It has to be said that the album has that real feel of quality, meandering through guitar effects and bending synth deliverance. These complex sounds are supported by an array of vocals that really define each track. Interestingly, Luna Carina fundamentally develops their music with featuring artists in mind. Enabling an innovative output bonding both unique vocalisation and inventive instrumentalism. This combination works well and unlocks so much capacity for experimentation and creativity.
Jacob: “ A lot of the songs on Lily I would write out the main ideas and put together an instrumental/arrangement, then after we're happy with a track, I would then either start writing the lyrics or I would send it to a vocalist we want to work with”
The album starts with a great introductory track “Searching” that reveals the Luna Carina feeling straight away. It’s slow paced with light synth sounds instigating a tranquil ambience, with a gentle bass line over some high frequency keys. This nicely sets the stage for their first vocalist on the record (Will Trasler). The second vocal on the introductory track is (Marine Parodi) who mergers into the arrangement, blending nicely with her sensual French accentuated vocals. This seamlessness of vocal interchangeability works really well. The vocals carry on throughout, mixing harmonically together creating a feeling of elegance.
This gracefulness flows from track to track, it’s a true attribute to this band and what they are about. Songs like “Virtue” and “Lifeline” add a bit of flavour to the mix with some crunchy guitar and classic Indie riffs and fills. The vocals on “Lifeline” are captivating and sweeten the mood of the song. These catchier more Pop type tracks are quite reminding of the Noughties Indie-Rock era, maybe… “MGMT”?
The creative steer seems to be always tantalising towards a dance-electro atmosphere, this is shown more so on tracks like “Connection Reflection” and “Cocktail”. The latter is another track that utilises the brilliance and uniqueness of foreign vocals and wouldn’t look out of place on an Electronic Dance album. The overtone of “Cocktail” will take you on a pre sunrise journey with beautifully pronounced beats together with again, more of Luna’s quench for that foreign vocal. It works really well.
This debut release spans an array of ambient, chillout and atmospheric music. Some subtle and some mysterious and even hypnotic in areas. But, this is why the record is a wonder to listen to, it takes you on a musical journey, one minute you are feeling enlightened and the next, in a state of euphoria. “Finnis” is yet another example of the miscellany and changing methods that Luna Carina evoke; a funky jam with Reggae type strumming under some gentle vocals that produce a dreamy yet, jazzy vibe. “Eager to Gain” follows suit with funky drum breaks accompanied by rapping and rhythmic speech.
Luna Carina are a diverse sound swaying between genres. Whilst they are clearly not cementing a definitive genre, this is what “Lily” was created for; you can just feel it, it has a sense of real intention; to produce an innovative and progressive record. You can hear and understand the amount of time, effort and work that has gone in to the making of it. The Indie-Pop genre bending duo have managed to produce a masterful project of the multi-genre variety with “Lily”. Furthermore, the nod to featured artists and the immersivity and value showcased by Luna Carina for these is something to behold and proud of.
Listen to Luna Carina Now 👉🎧
We got to know Luna Carina a little better Check it out below:
Hi, could you tell us a little bit about who you are, where you are from and how you started out as a band? Have you always been into music?
"Hey! I am Jacob the founding member of the band and I have been a musician/songwriter for around 12 years now. Jack and I have been friends for a long time now and I approached him early last year to join Luna Carina (Around half into recording Lily), our musical connection is largely due to our shared love and admiration for Queens Of The Stone Age! We are also currently seeking additional band members to join us for live shows and for future recordings."
Where do your influences come from? What music and artists did you listen too growing up?
"My main musical influences are Warpaint, Men I Trust, London Grammar, Radiohead, King Krule and Nilüfer Yanya, and I grew up listening to bands like Queens of the Stone Age, Muse, System of a Down, Green Day and Kasabian. Jacks main musical influences include Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss, Mini Mansions, Anderson Paak and Chett Faker."
So 'Luna Carina' are made up of both Jacob Smith and Jack Print but a fundamental focus of the band is collaborating. Is it you guys that compose the tracks and produce the sound? Could you tell us a little?
"So, with the fourteen tracks featured on Lily, each song has a slightly different background in regards to how it was created, but usually I would write out a basic instrumental/arrangement and then we'll work on it overtime with the respective guest artists, with some of the guests being more involved in the creative process than others, but each song had different creative demands. Since each song has a different recording/writing line-up and took a varying amount of time, each song kind of has its own story"
How do you write songs? What is your creative process like?
"Most of the time we will write the instrumentals together, then either work on the song over time with the respective guest/collaborator with a sound for the song in mind.. or we'll just fully complete a song ready for a guest to add their final touches. So, every song has a different story and a unique learning curve. A lot of the songs on Lily I would write out the main ideas and put together an instrumental/arrangement, then after we're happy with a track, I would then either start writing the lyrics or I would send it to a vocalist we want to work with. Sometimes I'll write lyrics and the vocal melodies, but most of the time I prefer getting the vocalists/guests own take on the song, especially if we feel they can offer something special or unique to the song. Its always fun working with likeminded musicians and since this project is about bringing musical genres together it kinda makes sense, so input is always welcome! But ultimately when it comes to creating a song, it all depends on what we feel the song requires creatively."
You have your debut record coming out on the 8th April, can you tell us about it and how long it took to create?
"The majority of the recording took over a year, but me and some the various collaborators spent many late nights and long weekends perfecting it. Most of it was recorded in various home recording setups over the course of 2021. Overall, a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into this record.."
There are a lot of dreamy type effects on the record that produce that Indie-Pop atmosphere throughout. What instruments/effects are used and focused most?
"Most of the dreamy sounds are my guitar played through an abundance of effect pedals and/or are multiple layers of synths and backing vocals fused together. Basically, lots of reverb and delay!"
What is your favourite track on the album and why?
"Leave Me Light. I'd say this track, just because I feel it summarises Luna Carina's sound the best and I probably enjoyed writing this one the most. I am really proud of the instrumental for this one especially (Particularly my bass line and my chorus synth parts) Tink and George did an incredible job with the vocals and Francesca did an awesome job with the drums."
The record includes a variety of featured Artists. How were these chosen for the tracks? Was it a natural selection?
"Some of the guest collaborators I have known for a longtime and have worked with in the past, but, the majority of the guests I have never even met before, I just found them online after discovering their music on various platforms, such as Fiverr, YouTube, Twitch and Instagram. I hope to work with all of them again soon!! Most of the instrumentals (and some of the lyrics) where written before most of the guests were chosen, so picking a vocalist for each song was difficult.. So, I made a list of all the unsigned/smaller artists I liked the sound of (Contained over 100 names), went through them all and handpicked each guest based on who I felt is most suitable for the respective song and those who seemed the most passionate about their craft."
There is quite a range of vocals on the album. This includes different languages which I think adds a real nice touch to the record. Is this something that was always part of the album's focus?
"Its honestly something I've wanted to try for ages, but every time I suggested it in past projects people always seemed to be a bit apprehensive about it... But I feel on this record having the different languages helps emphasise the idea of bringing different artists and genres together. Since its a mix of different genres and musicians, it felt natural to incorporate."
What Artist would you love to collaborate with in the future and why?
"Tough question! There are so many!! But if I had to pick one, it would be Emmanuelle Proulx from Men I Trust Her voice is super calming and hypnotic, so together I reckon we'd write something quite dream-pop sounding. Also, a song featuring Emmanuelle Proulx would fit our second album perfectly and would be a dream come true!"
Where do you want to be in 5 years from now?
"Four/five albums worth of music released, a big network of musicians to collaborate with, touring everywhere all the time, our very own music studio/rehearsal space and honestly, just being able to afford the musician lifestyle without going too hungry would be great haha!"
Do you have a tour planned? When Is your next gig?
"Sadly, no tour planned yet.. But we're hoping to have a few gigs booked over the summer!"
Track 01: Searching (Featuring Will Trasler & Marine Parodi)
Track 02: Virtue (Featuring Liya)
Track 03:Feel Alive (Featuring Nekane)
Track 04: Lifeline (Featuring George Ryan)
Track 05: Cocktail (Featuring Gerto)
Track 06: 01000110 01101100 01111001
Track 07: Finnis (Featuring Tink Beadle & Marine Parodi)
Track 08: Retrospect (Featuring Olawale)
Track 09: Eager to Gain (Featuring Jazmin Tietze & King Marino & Nekro G)
Track 10: Leave Me Light (Featuring Tink Beadle & geroge Ryan)
Track 11: 01000001 01110111 01100001 01111001
Track 12: Intrusive Thoughts How To Forget (Featuring Tomas Baptista)
Track 13: Connection Reflection (Featuring Tink Beadle)
Track 14: Find the Key (Featuring Nekane)