Candi Carpenter - Demonology Part I. Candi climbs out of a TV screen grudge-style, wearing a black and white jumper and with her hair in two high pigtails.

Candi Carpenter
Demonology Part I

After a string of jaw-droppingly brilliant singles, Candi Carpenter has released her highly anticipated EP, Demonology Part I. The idea behind these songs is to candidly tackle past situations in order to banish the ghostly hauntings they enact.

There’s a lot to love on this album. It all starts with the all-laid-bare awesomeness of ‘Exorcist’, an alt-pop indiefied acoustic song with really raw lyrics. The song lets a little country edge show through, but it’s a shimmering pop wonder through and through.

‘Serial Killer’ opens with a palm-muted guitar and quickly grows until it becomes a fully-fledged guitar anthem. The lyrics bring that trademark mix of reality presented with wit and you wouldn’t be surprised to hear this song on a big radio station.

You’re not my type
You’re too damn nice to me all the time
None of your exes are floating face-down in the river
But I’m still scared I’m gonna find out you’re a serial killer

From the guitar sparkle of ‘Serial Killer’, the EP moves onto the smouldering ‘Novels About Vampires’. This track is like a modern-day Roxette-meets-Madonna track. I love this song so much I can’t find any route to crowbar in an ‘it sucks’ joke.

‘Skinny’ has a nice woody acoustic guitar in the verse, a sparse pre-chorus, and an emotional chorus. If you can’t feel some empathy for this snapshot of Carpenter’s school years, you can leave now and close the door behind you.

I just wanted to be skinny
pretty and popular
But I was just hungry
and lonely, with terrible posture

The transition into ‘Nervous System’ is a success despite the switch-up in styles. This is a melodic quirky pop song with great lyrics. This track is more electronic than the others, but it works really well.

The final song, ‘Cult’, probes the oddity of Christianity and of feeling weirded out by the subject preached in a church. Sonically, it’s like a guitar-based version of CHVRCHES, with seriously melodic pop welded to an angsty middle eight.

Who’s that in the corner listening to REM
It’s me, losing my religion again
I didn’t ask to join
It wasn’t my fault
Growing up is like leaving a cult

Demonology Part I is a drop-dead stunner of an EP. It draws from indie, pop, rock, and just a little seasoning of other stuff. It’s six songs, all utterly brilliant, with lyrics that take you deep below the sweet melodies and music. I’ll let Candi have the final word…

This EP is the study of my personal demons. Each song is an attempt to cast out the shame, the fear, and the trauma that have possessed me for so long. I need to name my demons in order to overcome them. Welcome to my exorcism.

Candi Carpenter

Listen to Candi Carpenter – ‘Serial Killer’.

Listen to Candi Carpenter – ‘Cult’.

Written by Fenton on

Steve Fenton writes in our music, words, and culture categories. He was Editor in Chief for The Mag and covered live music for DV8 Magazine and Spill Magazine. He was often found in venues throughout the UK alongside ace-photographer, Mark Holloway. Steve is also a technical writer and programmer and writes gothic fiction. Steve studied Psychology at OSC, and Anarchy in the UK: A History of Punk from 1976-1978 at the University of Reading.

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