Carpet Of Horses will have your head buzzing with the dreamy new psyche-pop single and video Honeybee — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
The track is the latest to land from Carpet Of Horses’ new album Ballroom, nine tracks of cosmic space laced with unique instrumentation, harmonies, unsuspecting hooks and melodies — and a disc whose setting was crucial to its sound.
The story: Carpet Of Horses’ Tobin James Stewart had left his hometown of Toronto for a stint across the world. A stint in Berlin proved fruitful for the singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, leading to his first full-length Red Paper Flames (2016), Collages, Vol. 1, a compilation of his first three EPs, and the inception of his own label Montsou Records. The trip would also lay the groundwork for Ballroom.
“I had been living in Berlin for the better part of a decade and, on a whim, decided to rent a house in a tiny village in the former GDR countryside,” Stewart shares. “The house had previously been the village restaurant, and behind it stood an unused ballroom. I brought all of my gear from Berlin, and converted the ballroom into a huge recording studio. Someone in a nearby village was giving away their piano, and a local family of farmers I’d befriended helped me move it in. The local villagers shared lots of stories about the festivities and weddings that had taken place in the ballroom over the years. There was a lot of intense history embedded in those walls.”
Inspired by the room that housed his creativity, and coupled with his penchant for storytelling, it would take two short weeks for Carpet Of Horses to write Ballroom from start to finish. The LP’s nine original tracks are each a dazzling course of audio and picturesque moments prepared to infiltrate your whimsical desires. Beyond Honeybee, Starland Waltz channels a romantic 3/4 time, while Rosie’s Garden pops out of the speakers, like succulents soaking in the sun. What Carpet Of Horses manages to create is a visual from audio — heavy percussion precariously plucked between distorted riffs, juxtaposed in delicate melodies, and cheery harmony.
Andi Haberl (The Notwist) was recruited for the album’s percussion. Later, Masayoshi Fujita (Erased Tapes) brought his family and his vibraphone to flesh out the album. Other collaborators to the LP include Michael Feuerstack (guitar, pedal steel), Ray Cammaert (Wurlitzer, backing vox), and Tyler Greenleaf (trumpet, trombone).
“The next five years saw me moving countries twice — first to Italy for three years, then back to my native home of Canada — and raising two small children,” Stewart reminisces. “As a result, this record sadly lay dormant on hard drives for several years while I struggled to find the means to finance it being mixed and mastered. So, at this point it’s a brand-new old record.”
Watch Honeybee above, hear more from Carpet Of Horses below, and follow them on Instagram.