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Ithaca, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2004 | SELF

Ithaca, New York, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2004
Solo Pop Singer/Songwriter




"Carlsson - Waiting EP"

Rating: 10.0/10

on 2013-07-15 Critic@Large Said:

So is the Waiting EP by Carlsson worth waiting for?

When I received Carlsson's electronic press kit I was unsure what to expect. From the information provided it seems that's he's from Germany (but now lives in New York), done work in the past with a few well known European record producers (Colin Pearson and Jose Alvarez-Brill) and writes and records synth-pop music. Other than that he's pretty much a man of mystery.

I really didn't want to waste another blank recordable disc on another artist my publisher sent my way to consider reviewing so I just downloaded his 5 songs from his Dropbox folder onto my hard drive, sat back with a cold refreshing beverage, and took a listen. So glad I did.

"Broken", the open track, was a mid-tempo electronica ballad with nice twists and turns in both the melody and lyrics. Nicely arranged long bowed synth strings counterpointed by electric piano arpeggios, keyboard bass and drum machine/percussion effect making up the rhythm section, layered vocals, with a lick or two of acoustic guitar on the ending.

That was followed by "Departures" which picked up the tempo to a nice dance floor groove. There were a few more instrument inclusions and much more effect on the vocals. While the drum pattern overall worked pretty well, I kept thinking a few tom fills here and there to add punctuation would've been a good touch. All in all though, it was a pretty solid tune from beginning to end.

The 3rd cut, "Going Nowhere" down shifted the pace to a more pensive, brooding ambient and atmospheric mood. It works well as a slow dance club tune with a hooky chorus you could sing along to in your dance partner's ear while you swayed together to it. I'm not a big fan of the abrupt ending so I would've preferred if Carlsson had chosen another option for the closing coda.

"The Girl I Used To Know" up shifted the tempo again to a "Flashdance" like I'm-a-maniac level. Very sweet and sentimental on the lyrical side with that "I can't get it out of my head" quality about it. Definitely has radio hit quality and mega-bucks video potential written all over it.

The final, and title tune, "Waiting" once more returned the beat to a more andante pace and allowed Carlsson to bring out all his big guns both vocally and instrumentally. It was catchy without being cliche and passionate without being histrionic. This guy from Germany not only has some solid chops, but he knows how to use them.

So, how well did I like the "Waiting EP"? Well, enough after hearing it only one time that I reached for a blank CD, fed it into my burner and made myself a copy. And hey, for someone as jaded as I am (my "give-a-crapper" broke many years ago and I haven't cared enough to get it fixed, so I usually just don't give a crap about listening to what I review after I review it again), that should tell you a lot.

Rating: 10/10 - Music Emissions

"Carlsson - Waiting"


Review by AnnieWay

July 8th, 2013

Review Summary: What was once called new-wave music is what Carlsson re-crafts on the "Waiting EP" into something that maybe should now be called nu-wave. He takes a very minimalistic approach when it comes to lyrics and manages to say a lot with very little.

German synth-pop artist Carlsson is an enigma. The 5 tracks that make up his "Waiting EP" are at times confident, and sometimes slightly nervous and unsure. At other times they're insightful, but blind. Most of all, Carlsson's songs are bitter yet sweet. In fact, his music is the embodiment of the term "Weltschmerz".

"Weltschmerz" was coined by German author Jean Paul Richter as a label for the feeling that the experience of physical reality fails to fulfill and satisfy the demands of the mind. Think of it as a perfect Sturm und Drang cocktail: 1 part pain, 1 part angst, 2 parts disappointment, a splash of emptiness, a twist of resignation, and a dash of depression.

While this mixture of pathos and melancholia may sound like a soundtrack to slit your wrists by, it is Carlsson's vocal and instrumental performances on this compilation that raises the listener above his song's nihilistic sentiments, like a phoenix rising from the ashes. Beautiful synth pads and Carlsson's plaintive voice provide the wings that allow us to soar above the suffering. His arrangement of musical phrases and passages are like the balm that returns clear sight to eyes that, perhaps, have just seen too much of what a world like ours can do to a tender soul.

What was once called new-wave music is what Carlsson re-crafts on the "Waiting EP" into something that maybe should now be called nu-wave. It's more than just electronic - it's actually neon. He takes a very minimalistic approach when it comes to lyrics and manages to say a lot with very little. In the song "Departure" he sings of how, "I'm going to leave you tonight/Cause it will only hurt for the moment/And tomorrow will still be today/Nobody knows where I'm going/But I will never be away". To me, that just about says it all. - Sputnik Music

"Carlsson - Waiting EP"

By: Carlsson

Reviewed by:
Jake Chambers

Waiting EP by Carlsson

Somewhere between synthpop and Europop lays Carlsson's music. Carlsson, a recording artist from Germany, has been making music for years. Earlier in spring of this year his song Waiting began popping up on radio charts across the United States and Canada, and he's now about to release an EP using the same title.
His upcoming EP, which precedes an LP slated to be released at the end of this year, will contain five songs, including the aforementioned single. If all goes as planned, the singer/songwriter's track listing will contain the following titles:

1) Broken (a ballad)
2) Departures (a danceable mid tempo tune)
3) Going Nowhere (a pensive down tempo track)
4) The Girl I Used To Know (a throbbing, fast moving club cut)
5) Waiting (his previous radio single)

Carlsson's sound is a pleasant combination of nicely structured melodies sung in counterpoint to well arranged electronic instruments. He appears to take great pride and pains with his careful selection of both rhythmic and melodic incidental instrument sounds. Carlsson also shows a good talent for writing hooks that are as easy to understand as they are to remember.

On a scale of one to ten I'd give his present compilation of music a solid nine. The one point I didn't award him is because of the cover artwork that was included, which looks something like a cross between an attempted imitation of a Jackson Pollack painting and the pattern on a fabric swatch sample. It just left me with the impression that, unlike his music, he just hadn't invested much as much time, or love, in its creation.

Best Track(s)
Waiting - CD Reviews By You


2005: Departures - Alvarez Presents Zeitmaschine
2011: Appetizer EP
2013: Waiting Single



Carlsson is a singer, songwriter, keyboard player and producer from New York, who is currently working on his first full-length album. Heavily influenced by the 80s and artists like Phil Collins, Howard Jones and a-ha, he writes very melodic and catchy music that blends synthesizer-driven tracks with more traditional piano based arrangements. Reflecting his quiet and low-key personality, his songs are based on simple yet powerful tunes with few words. Melody always stands above everything else while lyrics never take more than a supporting role. But no matter whether it's danceable or melancholic, the end product is straight, well-crafted Pop that is written with the intent of sticking in the listener's head.

After discovering the world of electronic sounds on an early home computer, the German-born artist writes his first instrumentals in the late 1980s, and starts adding vocals to his songs a few years later. Having grown up in the countryside where not many shared his love for Synthpop and New Wave, he decides early on not to join one of the local rock bands and try it solo instead. A track on a widely distributed demo compilation CD in 1995 gives him some exposure in the music business and attracts the attention of British producer Colin Pearson (Alphaville), among others. But despite repeated praise and encouragement for his work, the following years see him struggling with the effects of the radical changes in the music industry. In 1999, preparations for a debut album are halted, and in 2003 the release of the Single "Broken" is cancelled - in both cases due to problems with the respective record labels.

In 2004, Carlsson starts working with well-known German producer Jose Alvarez-Brill (Wolfsheim, Unheilig, De/Vision). This leads to the publication of the Song "Departures" on the compilation album "Alvarez Presents Zeitmaschine" in 2005, and to the release of the 8-track EP "Appetizer" in 2011 with "Broken" as the single. But a complete lack of support and major organizational issues with the producer's new label force Carlsson to continue on his own. As a result, he produced and self-released his latest single "Waiting" in 2013, and is currently preparing the 12-track album "About Time" for release later this year.

Band Members