Carpet Cocoon is immensely comforting and–befitting the timing of this review–spiritually tied to the cooler months. This record exudes coziness, like a lived-in woollen jumper. It invites you into your memories, the soundtrack to a montage. Principal songwriter Lynn Avery creates undefinable times and places–you may have been there, you may have not. Either way, you feel a sense of welcome.
Opening track “Healer” is built around doubled nylon string guitars and saxophone interplay (played by the always incredible Cole Pulice), with hovering electronic interjections. Healer feels like the central statement of this record. It speaks like an emotional beacon. It invokes a pastoral theme song to a classic TV drama from the 70s, or perhaps a ritualistic pagan dance? The only other musical reference point I can emotionally tie it to is “Watering a Flower” by Haruomi Hosono. Both feel like a wordless musical summary of a rich life lived, looking back on joys and sorrows, victories and defeats. As my favourite “Watering a Flower” YouTube comment says, “this is the music that plays as the credits roll on the movie of your entire life” (thanks @midnightcthulhu5551).
As the album progresses, a playful, buoyant tone emerges. “Cellphone in the Bath” evokes a sci-fi garden experience, with alien bird calls, robotic insects and wobbling guitars. “Duet” is the melancholic sound of the dawn, speaking to renewal and awakening. The flutes weave above and below the central guitar line, separate paths tied together. Closing track “Colette” sounds like a piano being played in the other end of a cottage–windows cracked, outside sounds floating in, open fire crackling.
While the palette may be varied between songs, the tone of this record is consistent. Tape warbles mimic the decay of memory over time. Wooly production drapes a blanket. This is music for warm memories.