A good friend of mine recently passed along Brooklyn singer-songwriter Liam Carey’s latest EP, Teeth. Carey performs and records under the name Secondstar, and the fine songcraft he is capable of delivering was clear on my first listen to Teeth a few weeks back during my late drive home from Keyspan Park. The harmonies that propel “Ravens” and “Tied To The Mast” jumped right out at me, reminding me of one of my (and just about everyone else’s) favorite bands of 2008, Fleet Foxes. Carey doesn’t sing with the same high lonesome, reverb-drenched drawl of Robin Pecknold - his voice is a more subtle instrument that doesn’t battle to stand out over the acoustic guitar, banjo, and light percussion that permeate the EP. But he often does approach harmony in the same multi-layered, hymn-like way that Pecknold did so effectively on the Fleet Foxes’ debut. The vocals and instruments meld together consistently on the 5 songs that make up Teeth to create a warm, intimate sound that only grows richer with subsequent listens.
Teeth was actually recorded last summer in Paris while Carey was living there temporarily to be closer to family. Carey found Paris to have a “small but lively appreciation for American folk music and I ended up playing some really nice shows and befriending some great musicians”. The EP was recorded in his bathroom with the door closed and the refrigerator unplugged to cut down on noise. There he and some friends would huddle around a single mic and play these songs, which Carey describes as being about “getting older, getting married, settling down a bit.” Teeth is a promising effort - I’m sure we’ll be hearing more from Secondstar in the not-so-distant future.