Album Review: Alexander Carson – Ellipsism

Having spent almost seven years as the frontman, singer and songwriter for the critically acclaimed Wooden Arms, Alexander Carson has become something of a household names for folk aficionados and now with Ellipsism he is branching out on his own to create a haunting collection of neoclassical tunes that echo through the mind.

There is something fragile within Carson’s work, there is almost a frailty to it that makes him seem somewhat vulnerable and yet simultaneously there is a very real strength to it. Carson focusses his attention on the gentle timbre of his piano keys and a series of increasingly experimental attributes that give his music and otherworldly vibe. At times it feels like a nod to an extremely stripped back Sigur Ros with a host of contemporary aspects coming clashing together over a subtle and achingly tender vocals. With such a tenderness and unparalleled passion in his cracking voice it’s hard not to get swept up in his ethereal charms and transported to some disparate landscape. Ellipsism is a stark album, minimal in nature and comprised of only the smallest handful of choice chords and instrumentals. This drastic reduction gives Carson a more intimate and sombre notion to his performance, as if his words were echoing inside your own mind.

A charming blend of contemporary classical music and an exploration of experimental sound, Ellipsism is a fiercely challenging album in the guise of something soft and gentle. It sounds beautiful in a way that makes your heart ache but it also lets Carson’s bring his every thought to life. His lyrics are closer to poetry and prose than they are to mere lyrics. He doesn’t just write songs, but instead he writes chapters and with each transition of sound it feels as though you are entering a new area. It’s as though his imagination is opening up to you piece by piece and you are following his evocative voice through atmospheric landscapes just chasing him down until you can find what’s at the end of it all. This is a beauty that is nigh impossible to capture for most as Carson takes on the life of a writer and adds a few chords here and there to create something unique and spellbindingly moving.

Ellipsism is an album that can teach you and shape your mind. It’s sad and sombre and yet there is something soulfully uplifting to it as it spins around you. It’s an album that can strike a chord in every heart as it opens up and beats Carson’s heart to the world and you find common ground with a man whose voice seems to echo up from the ethereal plane.

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Review by Joe Knipe


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