Former folk musician Carrellee turns to synths

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This is an unusual pathway into the world of synthpop music, but the results sound magical. A former folk musician named Carrellee is making her debut on Negative Gain Productions—the same label behind dark electronic artists like AEON RINGS and Moris Blak—with the new single “Morning Sun.”

“Morning Sun” is tense, skittering electronics that provide the foundation for Carrellee’s sweet, sensual vocals. You can hear a slight twang on the chorus when she croons, “Your lips like the morning sun. Never ever ever coming back.” It’s a sentimental, satisfying concoction that sounds like few other artists in the scene.

Carrellee is Sarah Pray from Madison, Wisconsin. A lifelong musician, she was making folk/Americana music, and you can still find some of her old music on Spotify. She’s released solo records as Sarah Pray and albums as a duo with her ex-husband. According to the press notes Sarah sent me, she started looking for a new direction in the wake of her divorce.

During the pandemic, Carrellee turned to the microKORG and Yamaha DX7 synths after finding the folk music she had been doing to fall a bit flat in expressing the personal intensity of the year, including going through a divorce with her personal and musical partner.

“Morning Sun” will appear on Carrellee’s debut album as a synthpop artist. Called Scale of Dreams, it’s due out November 8. The album draws inspiration from new wave icons Cocteau Twins and Kate Bush, as well as a variety of Italo disco and synthwave artists.

You can find “Morning Sun” on Bandcamp and Spotify.

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