Personally I think he’s at his best when he adds a bit of swagger and dumb optimism and stops trying to act twice his age.
Minderbinder Music http://longconversations.bandcamp.com/
A really enjoyable EP this, not too sloppy or soppy, but well balanced and possessing enough emotional punch and humour to engage you, the listener. The EP’s got an incredibly sharp, crystalline sound which in many ways lifts the songs from being too maudlin or self-centred, making it a soulful and honest record, and I think that’s a good thing. The voice wobbles and cracks at times, especially on Lesser of Two - which can irritate and undermine his undeniably good lyrics – and sometimes you wish for a little more forza in Give Another Kiss and Drunk When You Call, say, but there again the vocal delivery does have an undeniable charm about it.
It’s a strange voice; Olaf Carls seems to be caught between wanting to be a wide-eyed troubadour in the style of Ryan Adams and yet you get the feeling he’s really gunning to be Hank Williams, mixing up country-style pathos and wry observations. Personally I think he’s at his best when he adds a bit of swagger and dumb optimism and stops trying to act twice his age. Chin Up Song and Ginsberg are a bit like the hoe-downs Brakes deal so well in. And as I said before this is honest and direct stuff.