S. Carey’s brand-new album, Hundred Acres, delivers a perfectly soothing indie sound


A simple scroll through Apple Music’s selection of new music led my fingertips to an album- released just this past Friday- with a name almost identical to that of the whimsical Hundred Acre Wood from my childhood, paired with calming cover art that could just as well have been the real-life embodiment of Winnie the Pooh’s dwelling.

Intrigued, I delved into the album and found myself engulfed in the sounds of gentle guitar strums and Carey’s smooth voice.

Indie artist S. Carey’s brand new release, Hundred Acres, provides a diverse selection of soothing guitar melodies, serving as the perfect soundtrack to homework, reading, or any other leisurely activity. Generally, I like to save a small corner of my music preferences for more mellow, serene music, and Hundred Acres has made a timely entrance in my life as a fresh new addition to my old favorites.

The album opens with “Rose Petals,” a tranquil, guitar-centric piece paired with low, crooning vocals from Carey. Transitioning into “Hideout,” the guitar takes a heavier role with a more rhythmic picking pattern; nonetheless, Carey maintains his wispy, almost sorrowful vocals. The album continues to pick up with a more upbeat, sunny track, “Yellowstone.”

The album continues to shift through highs and lows in mood, beat, and sound. There are more somber tracks, like “Hundred Acres,” and more uplifting songs, like “More I See,” with its uplifting melody and message of resilience.

“Emery” exemplifies a more musical instance of these subtle fluctuations, uncharacteristically abandoning the emphasis on the guitar for a drum-beat backdrop and a refreshing showcase of the strings.

The close of the album is perhaps its prime. “Have You Stopped to Notice” simultaneously produces a compelling sound and message via Carey’s soaring vocals and wistful lyrics about his unwavering support for a struggling loved one. The album finally concludes with “Meadow Song,” a mournfully ambient track carried by a cello backbone, Carey’s forlorn voice, and a strikingly beautiful instrumental ending.

Regardless of my personal appreciation of the specific nuances through each song, I think many would find this album rather unvaried and repetitive. And while Hundred Acres certainly captures a very distinct style, I enjoy that sort of uniformity. I like the way each song fluently flows into the next, almost creating one long song with rises and falls rather than ten individual pieces.

So from a musical perspective, I was already sold on Hundred Acres. Carey’s voice added a whole other attractive pull to the album. Carey’s dynamic voice effortlessly bends and twists to the arcs and dips of the music, rising in fluid falsettos and declining in low, rumbling tones. In addition, Carey’s simplistic- sometimes moving, sometimes obscure- lyrics effectively pull together his entire sound.

There’s too much extraordinary underneath the surface of every beat, melody, and lyric. While I can see why some would find this album too monotonous for their taste, there is such an alluring, comforting quality to these songs, and I highly recommend this album to anyone in need of a little calming, even if just for a mere 38 minutes.