After a decade of guesting on high-profile albums, founding member of yMusic CARM (CJ Camerieri) will drop his star-studded solo debut CARM next year. His latest single is “Land”, which reunites him with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon.
yMusic is a contemporary classical ensemble, and over the last few years they’ve become one of the most in-demand backing bands in the world. Led by trumpeter Camerieri and violinist Rob Moose, they’ve appeared on recent Bruce Hornsby efforts Non-Secure Connection and Absolute Zero, Paul Simon’s In the Blue Light, and Ben Folds’ So There, to name a few. Camerieri has also won two Grammy awards as a member of Bon Iver, and he comes highly recommended by that group’s lead singer. As Vernon said in a statement, “CJ and I have worked together for over 10 years and I truly believe there isn’t a more accomplished brass player in the entire world of music. This record is way more than a “horn” record. It’s a discovery of new heights with what’s possible in creating music.”
But “Land”, which features Vernon’s vocals, doesn’t sound especially experimental. In fact, it could pass as a cut off 2011’s Bon Iver, with Vernon’s aching falsetto trading bars with Camerieri’s optimistic horn. It’s a gorgeous song, like lying in the grass and bathing in sunlight. But Vernon’s lyrics keep picking at anxieties; a restless mind unable to relax.
CARM explained the central metaphor of the song as “stable ground” that is “slipping away and replaced by manipulations or meditations.” He said,
“The song title’s reference to stable ground is upended as reality is seen slipping away and replaced by manipulations or mediations. Against the backdrop of today’s political, economic, and environmental climate, the material world is distorted beyond recognition and the “screen” has become our most reliable means of community and communication, acting as an interface between us and lived reality. Closing with the line “all is all of it now,” the song gives expression to the contemporary experience of totalizing media and the enduring desire for finding connection to others in a world that privileges other values.”
The accompanying music video was directed by Isaac Gale. It shows CARM in lush natural settings, although the visuals are intercut with distortions, psychedelic effects, and a repeated panning-out that reveals you’re watching yet another screen. Check out “Land” below.
CARM drops January 22nd on 37d03d, the label and event non-profit started by Vernon and The National’s Aaron Dessner. Pre-orders have already begun. Previously, CARM shared the lead single “Already Gone” featuring members of Yo La Tengo. CARM also boasts contributions from Sufjan Stevens, Mouse on Mars, and Shara Nova.