Marilyn Carino

Leaves, Sadness, Science

February 15, 2015

When R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills (who co-wrote, performs and sings on Leaves, Sadness, Science‘s bonus
track, “War and Peace”) first heard the entirety of Marilyn Carino’s second solo album, he raised the question
that has made Carino (and scores of music promoters) wince since she began fronting the band Mudville in
2003, “What the hell do you call this music?” They came up with categorically-challenged terms like “torchy”,
“existential” and “womb-tronic”, which they agreed still “wasn’t quite it” but would kind of do.

Carino’s singing has been called, “powerful to the point of bringing you to tears” (Straight No Chaser) and
“smoldering” (The New Yorker); her music, “enchanting – a testament to the healing powers of rhythm” (Nylon);
her music about, “troubled longings and bleak, surreal visions” (New York Times); her lyrics, “poetic, filled with
imagery” (New York Post). Carino’s songs have been featured on TV and several film, including the FX hit
Regenesis and the upcoming feature, Someone Else.

Informed by the voices of Nina Simone, Thom Yorke, Anna Calvi and Lightnin’ Hopkins, favorite singers
she deems “soulful, stirring, bravely strange”, Carino’s second solo album after 2011’s critically-lauded Little
Genius (which All Music Guide deemed, “an artful set of brave, assured electronic soul tunes, housed in
skillfully executed grooves and expressed with a voice that is free of artifice in its expressions of longing,
struggle, empathy and desire”, imagines soul-mated collabs where those singers hang in stoned basement
recording studios with Prince, Suicide and Boards of Canada. The album will be released on CD and vinyl

Written, recorded, mixed and performed solely by Carino (except the aforementioned track with Mills), Leaves,
Sadness, Science is a collection of vocally- and word-driven soundscapes; head-space grooves that layer
Moog-y synths and stark beats. The songs evoke gripping internal monologues about “hope and body fluids”;
songs that are punkily romantic despite their overt skepticism of romance. The album’s title comes from a
Frida Kahlo installation Carino saw, which featured monochrome rooms, for each of which a sign noted
Kahlo’s feeling about the various colors. Yellow was madness, blue was peace, and green; leaves, sadness,
science. The 10 tracks on the album echo the graphic, challenging and charged paintings of Kahlo, who’s
work also graces the album’s cover.


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