LA Indie-pop singer and songwriter Austin Carr releases new EP Imaginary Boy.
Los Angeles singer-songwriter Austin Carr took his first steps into the world of music at the tender age of 13, starting a YouTube channel performing covers three years later. Although Austin’s YouTube channel saw some success with thousands of subscribers, he decided to focus his energy on becoming a male model – that is, until he was diagnosed with Alopecia. However, this resilient young artist took his frustration and pain and channelled it back into his first love, songwriting. Imaginary Boy is the first EP from Austin Carr, exploring the world of indie-pop and adding his own flair to create a masterpiece.
“For Once and for Her” is a sweet ode to days gone by, with Austin’s dulcet tones ringing out over an instrumental produced by Jessy Covets of the band Peachy McQueen. A plucked guitar lays the groundwork for the building of a beautiful soundscape of gentle percussive sounds and synth pads, making for a lush bed of noise to complement ethereal vocal delivery and wistful lyrics. Austin explains that the sound of “For Once and for Her” is influenced by electronic dance music, elements of which can be heard in the style of the rhythm section.
This seemingly innocent song is followed up by “I’ll Forget U, I Won’t Forget This”, a sultry, retro-inspired track which reflects on the teachings of a relationship gone wrong. The lyrics “I’m not meeting your mother / but I’ll guess what she’s like” sum up the sassy attitude Austin takes with a person who he knows is no good for him, and endears us to his story even further. This heart-on-sleeve approach is prevalent throughout Austin’s EP, keeping us hooked, waiting for the next cliffhanger. Sulking synth noises and deep bass contrasted with bright, chiming guitars provides a clever dichotomy between the lighter and darker sentiments of this song.
Austin switches up the vibe yet again in the soulful ballad “Bruise”, with sparse instrumentation letting his vocal take the lead. This emotional and raw account of a story told by his hurt is the third of three original tracks on the EP, and a beautiful means of leading onto the final track. In all its simplicity, “Bruise” speaks volumes with relatable lyrics and influence from old soul music. The instrumental consists of mainly guitar and bass throughout, but the middle eight takes us to a brand new place, with the introduction of an organ and layered harmonies singing like a choir of gloomy angels.
Last (but definitely not least) is the acoustic version of “I’ll Forget U, I Won’t Forget This”. A fresh take on perhaps our favourite song on the EP, Austin introduces atmospheric noise in the form of rain on a window. An upright piano plays to Austin’s lead, sounding almost as though recorded on tape. This clever switch-up of just a few elements brings an entirely new meaning to the song, with the sentiment suddenly less sassy and more sensitive than we heard in the original version. There is something comforting about this reimagining, although more poignant in its sound.
The Imaginary Boy EP sees Austin Carr don many musical hats, all of which suit him down to the ground. His heart-on-sleeve, authentic approach to songwriting is charming and relatable, traits I’m sure that will see him garner fans from all over the globe, and his resilience and bravery is apparent in every lyric that he chooses. His collaboration with Jessy Covets is a bountiful one – a partnership that I hope will see them release further music in future – so be sure to give this EP a listen and follow Austin on social media to keep up to date on his plans.