Perhaps it’s the fact that Toni Sidgwick was born in the Shetland Islands, or perhaps it’s because she’s now based in County Durham, but there’s certainly something in her belief system which firmly holds that you’ll be okay in life if you rely on yourself and stay focused on your dreams.
Creating a musical atmosphere which bends to this belief of self-sufficiency, ‘Carry’ starts off in an acoustic, sparse, environment. Not too far from parts of ‘Nebraska’ in it’s use of a distant, remote, sound, we start in a stark, downbeat, almost roots world; It’s the sound of self-imposed isolation.
Building into a larger, full-band, sound ‘Carry’ cleverly maps a growing sound with a growing confidence in narrative; the author no longer being mindful of the darkness in the world but shifting focus to building resilience and a determination to find the thing she’s been searching for. It’s an interesting story, ending in a message of the importance of staying strong and finding reasons not to give up (‘I can carry my life, I’ve been doing it for some time’).
Set upon the tracks wonderfully emotive musical architecture, Sidgwick’s focus for the song is it’s lovely melody line and her vocal delivery. Singing in a style which is both full of pain and simultaneously optimistic, Sidgwick finds a way to demonstrate the complexities of longing for something whilst at the same time being fearful of committing too much to it in case it breaks your heart. It’s a fine, emotional, style of singing and perhaps a novelty in today’s musical culture of over-emoting.
‘Carry’ is a wonderful track, simplistic in it’s sound but complex in it’s structure. Both as a musician and, more so, as a vocalist, Sigwick is a great storyteller. Perhaps we should all live in remote parts of the world for a while.