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caroline, 'Good morning (red)'

Updated January 19, 2022 at 10:51 AM ET

Ever since the London octet dropped "Dark blue" in 2020, I've puzzled at how caroline's strung-together influences – Talk Talk's whisper-quiet post-rock, The Velvet Underground's yearning drones and Chamberlain's rootsy noodling – mingle with such ambition. As the band's earliest song just now getting the studio treatment, "Good morning (red)" provides something of a key to understanding caroline's method of piecing together disparate parts. In it, a loping melody yawns alongside sweeping strings and an ascendant guitar figure – there's a pastoral brightness to the overlapping vocals lit by a desperate outburst: "Can I be happy in this world?" It's borderline twee in the way an overeager study group in impeccably matched outfits could cause one listener to recoil and entice another. But halfway through the song, the world shifts as the melody breaks apart in a spacious full-band glitch: Fits of acoustic guitar and strings punctuate the silence as drums thwack the void and a bass line fills out the edges. It's as if the promise of a new morning has been upset by the dawn's revelations.

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Corrected: January 19, 2022 at 12:00 AM EST
The lyric "Can I be happy in this world?" was misheard as "I need hope in this world."
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