Since the release of Bon Iver's much acclaimed album 'For Emma Forever Ago' and the follow up EP 'Blood Bank', main man Justin Vernon has kept busy with side projects Volcano Choir and GAYNGS, leaving bandmate Sean Carey with plenty of free time to record and release his own solo album.
Much like the Wisconsin band for which he plays drums, piano and sings backing vocals, Carey's solo work is delicate and sedate, and relies heavily on atmospherics. But while Bon Iver's sound is always light and spacious, characterised by Vernon's recognisable high pitched voice, Carey creates a much warmer and more comforting ambience. His soft voice is so easy on the ears, especially when layered up to create gorgeous musical textures that seem malleable and organic.
There's a wonderfully natural flow through 'All We Grow', whether it be through the simply plucked acoustic guitar of standout track 'Mothers', the female backing vocals that provide sweet harmonies on the subtle 'In The Stream', or the instrumental passages that occasionally stray into the mellower end of post-rock with ambient distortion and crunchy guitar squawks. Most impressively, the leisurely paced closing track 'Broken' builds upon simple piano chords in a measured manner that, far from becoming boring, is almost therapeutic.
Proving he's more than just a member of Justin Vernon's band, Sean Carey has crafted a beautifully chilled out record that leaves Bon Iver as little more than a distant memory.