[one_half last=”yes”]CARNIVAL YOUTH
No Clouds Allowed
Label: Popup Records
01. Never Have Enough
04. Tree By Tree
05. Brown Eyes And All The Rest
06. Traffic Lights
07. Words Like Birds
09. See The World
NBHAP Rating: 3,5/5
So what on earth is a CARNIVAL YOUTH, where does it come from and what does it want from you? CARNIVAL YOUTH are a Latvian band who made big waves in 2014, racking a lot of radio play across Europe. They put out a well received EP entitled Never Have Enough on Popup Records, and hit the festival circuit hard, playing Sziget, The Great Escape and many more. Now they’ve decided the time is right to release their debut album, called No Clouds Allowed.
There’s an awful lot of good stuff here. Octopus moves with a purposeful bounce, powered by fizzing synths and tightly wound guitars. Brown Eyes And All The Rest has a chorus loaded with malignant groove. Words Like Birds has a vaguely nu-rave vibe, a slice of exuberant dance-indie. The use of growling guitars and gang vocals on Sometimes give the track on ominous swagger. CARNIVAL YOUTH succeed when they hit the sweet spots they aim for and get their mixture of synth-pop, indie and folk just right.
But CARNIVAL YOUTH’s problem is that occasionally they can veer into the forgettable. On No Clouds Allowed, the focus can slip and some tracks seem a bit unremarkable, especially when they move away from the peppy, dancey side of things and explore their more folky side. Never Have Enough is an example of this, a pretty enough track, but one with nothing really about it to distinguish it from the million other folk-indie bands in the world today. No Clouds Allowed is by no means a bad album, but the quality doesn’t quite remain consistent for the duration.
‘No Clouds Allowed’ is a perfectly decent debut album, but you get the impression that CARNIVAL YOUTH are capable of a lot more in future.