Floridian dream-popster Joel Piedt has mastered telling an album-spanning narrative within the standard, three-minute pop music structure. On his group’s first full-length release, the nine-track, half-hour long, 27 rue de mi’chelle, Piedt conveys the story of the ill-fated relationship with his ex-significant other Michelle, a tale lined with self-disdain, regret, loss, sadness and acceptance.
Piedt cites Hemingway, Brian Wilson and composer Hector Berlioz as inspirations, but most listeners will concentrate on Carrousel’s orchestrated dream pop (with an emphasis on acoustic and pensive traits), which is imprinted with emotionally expressive melodies, radiant musical phrases and quietly devastating lyrics. Standouts include evocative ballad “Where Do We Go from Here,” nuanced, chamber pop piece “14” and the semi-controlled rumbler “You Only Love Yourself,” a recriminating cut where strings, electronic washes and percussive effects clash with a shadow-saturated chorus.
Overall, Carrousel’s melancholic pop may not have upfront appeal, but the band’s introspective beauty ultimately proves worthwhile.
27 rue de mi'chelle is available now.