Caroline – Murmurs Mixes

Caroline – Murmurs Mixes

Caroline – Murmurs Mixes

When considering remix albums, choices should be carefully disposed and meticulously calculated. Coming up with solutions on when to release them is another question on its own. A group like Junior Boys has made a name for re-releasing its albums and pairing them with a remix album. And with time, I am sure that we will see a remix disc whenever its newest triumph, Begone Dull Care, is re-released.

For dreamy pop wiz Caroline, she has opted for an iTunes exclusive entitled, Murmurs Mixes. With underground producers and electronic beatmakers taking the stage, the overall package is a terrific win on many accounts. Her frail and fragile voice is ever so present on all of the songs. With a lovely melody delivered by a music box, Lullatone’s mix of “Bicycle” simply aids Caroline’s affectionate delivery. One can only think and know that Caroline was eager to approve; soothing and kindly restrained, the six minutes transpire like a mellow dream.

The release was a quiet declaration with the focus being on the caliber of the music, rather than on the promotion provided for it. The tracklisting was often changed so many times that I wonder what the final one is. The press release describes a different one than is on the actual promotional disc, which differs from what is actually advertised on Temporary Residence’s site. But whatever the situation is with that, none of that confusion seeped into any of the music.

Even when the breaks do appear, they don’t frighten any of the mixes’ overall placidity. For “Winter,” Repose strikes hard with fastened snares and thumping flashes of cymbal and frenzied keyboards. Allowing enough calm to shine the light on the gloom of Caroline’s weeping and the corresponding piano, it’s not long before the beats kick back in. Elsewhere, Poignant carries “Everylittlething” with powering synths. They’re a fitting touch especially when Caroline’s vocals are some of the harshest and assertive ones found on Murmurs.

There is just enough variety on this set of mixes, and when nearly every song is taken apart and given a new look, it makes you wonder what the original take sounds like. Another key aspect is that none of the musicians phoned in their work. Unlike most mix albums, every one did their part to ensure the music was re-invented. And a great example of this is how even the same song can feature two vastly different versions that are similar only in melody. For “Sunrise,” Logreybeam’s is an ambient, securely detached version, while Sunset’s begins with familiar ambience before quickly turning into a fleshed-out, meatier rendition.

Poised and self-assured, she’s given her friends and collaborators the freedom to bring her songs to life on Murmurs Mixes. Caroline’s voice is a meek and timid voice but she always sounds sincere and genuine. On Air Ballet’s mix of “I’ll Leave my Heart Behind,” she sounds contemplative and opens up. As she sings about the heartstrings that are being pulled within her, she doesn’t shy away as she sings in full force about how she must protect her heart. Ultimately, the songs are still Caroline’s but she’d be smart to take note of how refreshing they can sound in the right hands.

“All I Need” by Caroline (Owen Vallis Mix)