Luke Carr’s Pigrow is utterly mind-blowing. Seriously. Part of this can be attributed to the genre-bending nature of its eight tracks, which represent anything from soft-singing country-esque love songs, almost sinister lamentations on loss and good, old-fashioned, toe-tapping pop. Part of this can be attributed to Carr actually mixing and mastering the damn thing properly (something that is oddly uncommon around here) thereby giving it a clean and professional sound without coming across as overly produced or needlessly polished. And, lastly, it just plain sounds good.
“Mostly, Pigrow came to be because I wanted to work with John Dieterich from Deerhoof,” Carr says. “He was in Santa Fe to help with a music video for a Hawk and a Hacksaw I was working on, and I figured I may as well just ask him to help out. He said he was into it, but told me he had just one day; and that time constraint kind of led to the minimal nature of the album…I could have overdubbed for weeks, believe me, but the record went from finished tracks to mix to master all in three days.”
Impressive though this may be, Pigrow is just the beginning and merely a catalyst for Carr’s upcoming superband project, Storming the Beaches with Logos in Hand. The massive musical outfit will feature local dynamos like Evarusnik’s Andrew Tumason, Carr’s drum teacher Fred Simpson, Peter Duggan of Pitch and Bark, Round Mountain’s Robbie Rothschild and plenty of others. The band is still being assembled and finalized, but Carr estimates there will be between 12 to 15 people onstage when it debuts at AHA Fest on Sept. 15. But what could possibly spur Carr to jump from stunningly beautiful solo work to such a gigantic backup crew? It’s actually kind of the coolest part. Pigrow is a prologue of sorts for a sprawling science fiction tale that first came to Carr in a dream.
“I had a dream about this beautiful, intense teal color, and I woke up with this insane feeling about this color, which kind of led to this story,” Carr says. “Each record will be like an episode and will tell a little more of the tale.”
In Carr’s re-imagining of history, Europe has taken over Mexico to form the New European Union. Native Americans own what was once America, but New Europe’s industrial revolution has caused the ocean to rise in certain areas to the point where what would be the Santa Fe area is now a coastal region. And because the Natives respect and care for their land, a completely new fibrous plant called Pigrow—which is colored an intensely beautiful teal blue—has begun to grow in the evolving soil. In their haste and zeal for ever-growing tech and industry, New Europe has all but choked out its own natural food and water supplies, and depends entirely on the northern Natives for these necessities. This arrangement works for some time, but when the listener comes into the story, New Europe is launching an attack on the Natives to capitalize on the last remaining tenable soil and potable water.
“There are political and ecological implications, and a whole lot of characters,” Carr says. “I feel like I’m uncovering this story that has always been inside me, rather than writing it.”
Pigrow and Luke Carr’s Storming the Beaches with Logos in Hand follow in the footsteps of conceptual albums like The Sword’s Warp Riders or The Mars Volta’s Frances the Mule, but maintain a more Bowie-ish style in their gorgeously melodic sounds. Furthermore, the accompanying fiction is incredibly fleshed out, and could seemingly stand alone as its own entity. Carr hopes to raise $7,000 to cover recording costs in an upcoming Kickstarter campaign (which will be linkable through lukecarrsound.com in the coming weeks) and, according to the man himself, “I want to bring a sound so different, so loud, so big that it simply cannot be ignored.”