Comfort for the Traveler
Sylvie Simmons, Editor, Mojo Magazine, U.K. Wonderwheel, the home-grown debut by this husband-wife team named after a Marty Robbins cowboy hero, was one of my favourite albums of the summer of '99, it's addictive blend of bittersweet Americana and art-pop sounding like a hillbilly fairground taken over by a couple of kids on mushrooms. More than two years on (it takes time with no budget, a home studio and the determination to enhance the CD with a short, dreamy animation film), second album Comfort... retains their distinctive sound on even stronger songs. There's a sense in their often floaty melodies of goind around and around, like eddies in a stream (When We're Apart, The Way of the Buffalo). And the cantering Promised Land and easy-riding Misfits evoke cowboys on a carousel horse. George Zahora, Editor, Splendid, SplendidEzine.com While they've settled comfortably into the Americana niche, Utah Carol don't fit it's stereotype; they're certainly not ashamed of their country twang, but they don't write painfully sincere songs about factory closings and windblown ghost towns either. Their approach is heavy on American nostalgia, but it's more of a governing aesthetic than a specific set of sonic cues. Song titles like 'Silver Space Rocket', 'Soda Fountain' and 'Mr. Rogers' hint at a definite fondness for the tail end of Atomic Age America -- a time when futuristic concepts were tempered by cultural naivete and multi-generational camping trips still seemed like a pretty cool way to spend a vacation.