Rodeo Queen (2007)
Utah Carol’s third full-length release, is a pop journey across a musical landscape filled with 13 songs about obsession, hope, sabotage, heartache, mystery, forgiveness and the eternal desire for youth and happiness. Under the boy-girl harmonies, guitars and bass, you’ll hear foot stomping, horns, vintage organs, loops, slide, bells and tambourine. Rodeo Queen contains a full color, 12-page booklet with full lyrics, liner notes, original artwork by emerging artist Heather Culp and a portrait of Utah Carol by up and coming rock photographer Hayley Murphy.
Comfort for the Traveler (2002)
Comfort for the Traveler, Utah Carol’s second full-length release, is an eclectic mix of art pop, folk, indie rock and americana seasoned with happy/sad, boy/girl vocal harmonies. It is haunting, mysterious and melodic with songs about longing, unrealized dreams and the endless search for something that is forever just out of reach. Described by Mojo Magazine as “an addictive blend of bittersweet Americana and art-pop, sounding like a hillbilly fairground taken over by a couple of kids on mushrooms,” Utah Carol’s songs are a collection of vintage organs, layered orchestral instruments, synthesizers, loops, slide, electric and acoustic guitars, and lush instrumentation.A duo consisting of Grant Birkenbeuel and JinJa Davis, Utah Carol is one of Munich Record’s promising American bands.
This debut album by Chicago duo Utah Carol has a lo-fi alternative-country and folk-tinged sound that is irresistible. A seductive, wistful mood permeates Wonderwheel and infuses the album with a hypnotic quality. With the exception of “Me and You,” a beautiful ode to love with vibes and a heartening vocal performance by JinJa Davis, it’s not so much the individual songs on this 20-track set that make it stand out as the sum of its parts. The intimate vocal harmonies of the duo, rounded out by Grant Birkenbeuel, have a languid quality that is at once lulling and engaging. A carnivalesque tapestry of sounds ranging from acoustic guitar, organ, cowbells, and slide guitar to vibes and even whistling adorn simple two- and three-chord song arrangements. The only criticism is that Wonderwheel is slightly long. Fewer tracks and this album would be perfect.