This Carriage Is No Pumpkin

Forest City Lovers are no Cinderella story.

Forest City Lovers


Released on Jun 22, 2010


The tale of Cinderella, known to most as an animated Disney movie, actually dates back to the first century B.C.  The theme is always the same; a person, usually a woman, is oppressed in some way her true value not being recognized until somehow she achieves recognition or success. Even the idea of something turning into a pumpkin, like Cinderella’s carriage, dates back to the Roman Empire where a comic known as Seneca talked about the “Pumpkinification” of Claudius, which was likely a pun on the word deification. Boy, those Roman’s really knew were a bunch of cut-ups.  

I don’t know if the Forest City Lovers have been oppressed but their new release Carriage absolutely should help them progress toward the point where they, like Cinderella, achieve recognition, success or both. The 11 songs on the album all fall neatly under the band’s usual folk-pop sound but are varied enough to maintain the listener’s interest. 

Like any folk-leaning project, there are moments when you believe you may have accidentally stumbled into a renaissance faire and expect to see a fair maiden in a long skirt and bustier playing a lyre. The most notable example is track seven, “Wolves.”  

Thankfully, more of the songs have a contemporary sound and feature the vocals of guitarist and songwriter Kat Burns who is eerily reminiscent of Lily Allen without the annoying sing-song up and down warbling of “Smile.” She is joined on Carriage by violinist Mika Posen whose presence is fairly subdued not overpowering like fiddlers can be in some projects. While nice, this is also indicative of Carriage’s one Achilles heel, sparse instrumentation. There are times I did find myself wishing for a little more from Posen or the other band members, bassist Kyle Donnelly, keyboard player Tim Bruton and drummer Christian Ingelevics, to surround Burn’s vocals. 

It is also worth noting that the majority of the songs on Carriage clock in at less than four minutes, a nice change from a lot of recent releases that are bogged down by songs that could have and should have ended two minutes before they did. Maybe the Dead City Lovers were concerned if the songs went too long they would turn into a pumpkin. Whatever the reason, the brevity is appreciated.  

High Point

The songs are varied enough to help maintain interest.

Low Point

Sparse instrumentation leaves you wanting more.

Posted by Mike Stern on Jun 22, 2010 @ 2:14 pm

forest city lovers, carriage