Carriers live review

Written by on November 11, 2019

Cincinnati-based indie rocker Curt Kiser, formerly of the band Pomegranates, brought his new project, Carriers, to Portland on Sunday following the release of their debut album earlier this year. The credits on that album are an indicator of Curt’s position within Cincinnati’s music scene: Bryan Devendorf of The National plays drums, with Afghan Whigs bassist John Curley also playing on the record and producing. However, it’s Kiser’s vision that shines through on the album: a landscape of soaring guitars and soothing vocals, Now is the Time for Loving Me, Yourself, and Everyone Else is a record that reels you in with its instantly recognizable beauty, expressed in songs that typically build to crescendo over six or seven minutes. Five years in the making, the record and Kiser’s band have shaped each other: ‘Carriers kind of came a band during that [the recording] process’ he said when I spoke with him on Friday.

            At Bunk Bar on Sunday I met Curt as he was setting up his merch table before the show. We began to chat as he finished his task, Curt telling me about the previous evening’s show in Seattle. That one had sold out; Bunk Bar was certainly not full at this point, but it began to feel that way once the band took the stage. As soon as Curt and his band started playing, the crowd were drawn to the stage, coming forward as Carriers stripped-down live sound filled the room with a palpable energy. Not only were those present treated to excellent live versions of songs from the album such as ‘Patience’ and ‘Peace of Mine’, but the band also played a new song, dedicated by Curt to the woman he loves.

            Instantly endearing and charming, Curt Kiser is a man whose pleasure in the music he makes shines through on both his band’s record and his live show. With Curt intending to start releasing Carriers material more regularly, expect to see him playing in a much bigger room in Portland soon.

            You can listen my interview with Curt from my show, in full, here.

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