Caracara
New Preoccupations


4.1
excellent

Review

by Rowan5215 STAFF
March 31st, 2022 | 49 replies


Release Date: 03/25/2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: always on the other side of bulletproof glass from all that

New Preoccupations is aptly named, an album that has a lot on its mind. While the band's previous work explicitly ruminated on injustices and apocalypses born of bad politics over energetic emo bangers, Caracara's latest album works with a defter touch. Dreamy imagery collapses into wrenchingly blunt statements in the lyrics of William Lindsay, a surreal travelogue of thoughts that reads like a love letter written inside someone's head between the blur of one streetlight and the next, slowly drifting into sleep. It's an appropriate fit for New Preoccupations, a gentler and more melodic offering from the Philadelphia four-piece.

Seemingly burning through their fire and fury on the Gates-esque "Hyacinth", Caracara quickly settle into a more thoughtful sound which works with empty space and dynamics. This is not to say the band lose their energy; first single "Strange Interactions in the Night" moves and grooves like Jimmy Eat World at their best, while the artier "Harsh Light" could be a cut from Foxing's masterwork Nearer My God. The band's confidence in every sound they try on and the album's excellent pacing make every step feel like the right one, so the Anthony Green-featuring "Colorglut", the closest thing here to a pop single, comfortably shares space with "Useful Machine", a dreamy electronic cut that feels a direct descendant from The Receiving End of Sirens' second album.

Lindsay got sober in 2020 just as the band was beginning to write what would become New Preoccupations. The lifestyle change feels baked into the very structure of the record, even when it's not being directly addressed, though lyrics like "might need a greater length of time / between the comedown and the high" certainly seem to grapple with the decision to stop drinking for good. "I was trying to tell myself to stop long before I did stop [...] I approached the last handful of songs from that perspective and with that narrative in mind: This is the story that I've been telling unconsciously. How can I pull it all together? What are the ingredients we still need to make this a cohesive narrative work?" In the last minute of closer "Monoculture", Lindsay finally cuts loose with a strained series of screams of "I'm finally free to let go". Whatever he's letting go of - alcohol, a relationship, the person he used to be or something else entirely - one can feel the steady tension that has built up across the preceding 40 minutes dissipate as producer Will Yip does what he does best and fades the vocals into the background.

It's a staggering finale to a record where softness constantly belies a subtle intensity, a cohesive piece of art that never compromises its kaleidoscope of moods, tones and genres in service to some restrictive idea of story. The linked middle trio of "Nocturnalia", "Ohio" and "Peeling Open My Eyelids" is the closest New Preoccupations comes to some kind of mission statement, albeit one born from heat-hazey drives down American highways where meaning seems to dissipate into the overwhelming breadth of feeling. "Ohio", perhaps the best song here, blossoms from a gentle beginning to a moving finale which doesn't need words to explain the album's beautiful melancholy. "So much closer to where I started than where I thought I'd be", Lindsay sings. It may be an intensely personal sentiment, borne of individual experience, but fuck, aren't we all?



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user ratings (46)
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
March 31st 2022


46884 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1

https://caracaraphilly.bandcamp.com/album/new-preoccupations



lindsay interview: https://www.columbusalive.com/story/entertainment/music/2022/03/24/tour-reckoning-leads-sobriety-new-album-phillys-caracara/7156700001/



this is good. listen to it

someone
March 31st 2022


4635 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

this is average. listen to it anyway.

Slex
March 31st 2022


14936 Comments


Cheers Rowbro gonna check this posthaste

JesperL
Staff Reviewer
March 31st 2022


4694 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nice, i love the first couple of tracks on this thing. rest isn't quite as good but still vibey

Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
March 31st 2022


4262 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Something keeps bringing me back to this album even if a lot of it feels sorta average... Incredible review Rowan!

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
March 31st 2022


46884 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1

all my favourite songs from this are from after the first stretch of tracks lmao. Colorglut goes tho

DadEsquire
March 31st 2022


104 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i get biiiiiiiiig mae/copeland/jack's mannequin style 3rd wave emo vibes from the song "strange interactions in the night," i love it. you don't hear that emulated often these days.

BigTuna
March 31st 2022


5794 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is very good. Drummer is the lowkey mvp.

nash1311
March 31st 2022


4862 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This was p good but didn’t wow me

theBoneyKing
April 1st 2022


22806 Comments


New Viet Preoccupations Cong Material?

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
April 1st 2022


46884 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1

I too can put words in an order and post them. example:



yea the drummer goes fuckin sicko mode on this

fogza
Contributing Reviewer
April 1st 2022


6281 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i keep thinking something is wrong with my headphones during nocturnalia, like i find the drumming very unexpected?

fogza
Contributing Reviewer
April 1st 2022


6281 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i feel like i shouldn't like these earnest young men but then useful machine is so nice

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
April 1st 2022


50769 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

you have lost your touch!!

fogza
Contributing Reviewer
April 1st 2022


6281 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i am allowed moments of weakness i grew up in the 90's

Pikazilla
April 1st 2022


24559 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This was a nice lax listen

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
April 1st 2022


50769 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

you have lost your touch

Observer
Emeritus
April 1st 2022


9212 Comments


Love their last album, and loving this. Nice grower.

alexslavco
April 1st 2022


144 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wow, did not know about this band till now, great album. Strange Interactions in the Night and Monoculture hits hard.

Conmaniac
April 1st 2022


27279 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hyacinth was one of my fav singles. V excited for this one



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