Carousel Beach is a Los Angeles / San Jose band formed in the early 2000’s. Colin Studybaker and Joseph Hurt, childhood friends who grew up in the sweltering heat of Florida, started playing together in their school days. In between various ventures they collaborated, sometimes long-distance. Joseph ran experimental San Francisco label Highpoint Lowlife while Colin engineered in Chicago at Engine Music Studios with Brian Deck, working with bands like Iron & Wine, Ugly Casanova, The Fruit Bats, and Squirrel Nut Zippers.
After touring the world with The National Trust (Thrill Jockey), Colin relocated to Los Angeles to pursue more engineering and producing, and continued to collaborate with Hurt, culminating in this debut Carousel Beach release.
Principal songwriters Hurt and Studybaker are joined on this beautifully trippy album by Katrina Lenk (MoxyPhinx), Brian Deck (Red Red Meat), and Nyles Lannon (Film School). Chris Phillips (Squirrel Nut Zippers) and Neil Rosario (The National Trust) also contributed to the sessions.
The music on Carousel Beach’s debut album is a stunning mix of influences. The opening track, “Caustic Weather,” starts with a gentle mellotron lick and ends in distorted guitars in less than three minutes, while the bouncy standout track “Ayahuasca” weaves in between innocent sing-along and freakout territory all while remaining as accessible as can be. Throw in the folky “Do We Need More,” electronic experimentalism, nature, surfing, South American shamanism, and the art of Pablo Amaringo, and you have the blueprint for Carousel Beach’s cinematic debut.