Bayou City

Jeremy Carswell Drops The Worst Record of 2018 So Far

Jeremy Carswell swings and misses on new E.P.
Jeremy Carswell swings and misses on new E.P. Photo courtesy of artist/Bandcamp

When you write about music, especially if you cover one particular area of the country, you typically know when albums come out. A simple search of Bandcamp with a city as the keyword will usually pick up new releases quickly. After Houston's Jeremy Carswell sent me his latest E.P. Everyday Boy and didn't get the response he wanted, he then went out of his way to tag me through multiple social media posts and had multiple people send me messages to listen to his music.

What Carswell didn't know, nor did any of those who messaged me know, was that I'd already heard the release and decided that it was too terrible an E.P. to actually write about. However, upon their insistence, here we are. While the E.P. is just under 20 minutes, the release was so poorly done that I thought the songs were that of a parody album, and I was mad that I actually listened to it multiple times in multiple ways. Below, the worst album I've heard in 2018 so far.

While it's a little trite to open your record with a clip of someone complimenting your music, no one seemed to tell Carswell that with opener "Doing All Right." The song has what seem like joke vocals, where the chorus has this higher pitched vocal that sounds like maybe he's kidding, or he can't sing. It's tough to tell. This gets followed by squeals and screeches as well as goofy noises as the song plays in the background. Mixing these terrible vocals to the top of the mix aren't doing this song any favors by any means.

This is followed by the seeming dance track "Lost Lover," completely abandoning the style from the opening song. If this is how Carswell sings to his lover, there's no wonder why he lost them as these vocals have this comical deep but still laughable sound. Seriously, when you hear albums where it sounds like someone made the song as a joke, that's what this song sounds like. Synth stabs alongside a very formulaic funk guitar and cheesy drum beat would make the song forgettable if those bizarre vocals weren't on the top of the mix.

If you thought that Carswell couldn't change direction again on this release, you'd be wrong. I'm not sure what genre you'd place "Yet Again" in, but the fact that Carswell sings off key and often at times, out of time signature just means that there's a reason people hire engineers to help them make records. Please, tell me there wasn't an engineer on this record. If so, he or she is the worst engineer in the history of the music industry and should immediately be fired. You know how when you hear The Shaggs' music and you wonder how such horrible music was ever recorded?  Well Carswell's songs are similar except to my knowledge there isn't an insane father making him make these songs because a palm reader gave him a vision of his children's rock star success.

The opening of "Keep Sailing" makes you think, "okay, this song will be a good one," before Carswell's cheesy lyrics and lackluster vocals remind you that no, this will not be the case. While he gets really close to falling out of time signature again, it sounds like he added the vocals to the music and then just accepted the sound without asking anyone who knows how a song gets made to see if it sounded okay. The only correlation you can make to any other artist is that his vocals sound like if Conor Oberst were punched in the mouth and recorded his vocals while falling down a flight of stairs. The final song, "Am I This?" is the only of the five that isn't completely laughable. The song still isn't anything extraordinary, but it's not nearly as terrible as the previous ones. The vocals seem a bit more serious, and there's actually a relatable melody, though the first four songs may have turned you off to where you'll never make it to this song.

The end result is a forgettable release that I was upset that I wasted cellular data on playing in my car via bluetooth. In five songs, Jeremy Carswell proves that while there's plenty of amazing music coming out of Houston today, he needs to get a second set of ears on his music before releasing anything like this again. While some people beat writers over the head with their music, and the writer is pleased to get the release out to others, that's not the case here. Sometimes, to be nice, reviews don't get written. You can stream Everyday Boy on Spotify. You can catch Carswell when he performs around town as well.
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David Garrick is a former contributor to the Houston Press. His articles focus primarily on Houston music and Houston music events.