[wpaudio url=”https://americansongwriter.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Caroline-02_Swimmer.mp3″ text=”Caroline – Swimmer” dl=”0″]
Caroline Lufkin’s voice is capable of aching highs and breathy immediacy, and it’s not hard to imagine why the Japanese music industry wanted to groom her into something like her sister, the pop star OLIVIA. But unlike her older sister, Caroline Lufkin walked away from all that, and for the past few years the Berklee-trained songwriter has kept her name out of the limelight, playing and touring with New York-based Mice Parade. Verdugo Hills comes five years after her debut, Murmurs, and the Brooklyn-based label, Temporary Residence, seems to completely understand what Caroline is about. On “Swimmer,” the singer is at her most Bjorkian. Acoustic guitar harmonics introduce the slow-building song, with electronics almost imperceptibly gurgling underneath. Layers of Lufkin’s overdubbed humming vocals wash in before she sings the song’s first verse. “In my room I’ve been swimming,” she says, and the surreal image is a perfect counterpoint to the lost-in-physical-space music. In later verses, more effects are added to her vocal for something like an electronic pop take on Auto-Tune and cut-up delay. Minimal, glitchy drum machines are present on almost every song, somewhat reminiscent of Boards of Canada, but they serve not as center pieces, but rather as accoutrement to Caroline’s childlike singing and fastidious productions.