The Predictable Crisis of Modern Life
Jack Carty & Casual Psychotic
Gigpiglet/Inertia LAST year Sydney-based singer-songwriter Jack Carty released his breakthrough second album,
Break Your Own Heart. Carty’s lyrics and folky songs had poetry and wisdom but also wit, with wry observations on the generation he belongs to (he’s 25). The combination of great live performances, impressive tunes and a generation embracing its own reflection carried the album up the charts and filled venues across the country in a year of relentless touring. On The Predictable
Crisis of Modern Life, Carty has taken a daring leap into new territory in a collaboration with Sydney producer Casual Psychotic. Things begin with choral ambience over spoken words (supplied by the singer’s grandad) on the single What Does
Your Heart Say?. The words are about how a man is inclined to face hopelessness and indecision at age 40. Soon enough the familiar Carty sound emerges, with vocals double-tracked here and there and clever acoustic guitar parts. There’s a striking electric guitar solo before it all ends in a sonic freakout. Cool beats usher in Strung Along, which soon develops into a rock belter with Carty’s spirited high tenor elegantly riding the powerful sonic wave. Tunnel Vision (‘‘every cyclone has a centre, every hurricane must end’’) is a bit of throwback to the slow, acoustic balladry of Break Your Own Heart with distant gamelan sounds creeping in at the sides. Officially an EP,
Crisis has eight strong songs at a total length of 28 minutes. One song short of a full album, it sees Carty move on stylistically without losing his identity or any of the qualities that make him special. The baby has not been thrown out with the bathwater — it has simply grown stronger.