The University of Iowa University of Iowa

KRUI Underground: S. Carey


Photos by Drew Ingersoll

By Kendall McCabe

At 5:30 p.m. on December 10, S. Carey took to the basement stage of Public Space One before a crowd of about thirty people. The world above ground continued on as usual. The heels of mothers and fathers clacked quickly on the sidewalk as they hurried home to their children, finals-weary undergraduates shuffled up to the counters and bought yet another cup of coffee.

But, for a half an hour, those of us below ground heard the jovial plucking of a stand-up bass mix with the tragic cries of Michael Noyce’s viola. There were gentle finger-picked guitar melodies, swelling harmonies, and simple lyrics, the product of long hours spent recording and rehearsing.

Sean Carey, who has a degree in classical percussion from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, could be described as ‘obsessive’ when it comes to the music he makes. He was hired to play drums in Bon Iver on the spot after teaching himself parts from For Emma, Forever Ago and thoroughly impressing Justin Vernon. Throughout his time spent with Bon Iver, he would record his own basic ideas and, on rare days off and at home, he would expand upon them – layer by layer. The final product was the dense, but elaborate folk/ambient LP All We Grow.

S. Carey’s debut album, All We Grow, was released on August 24, 2010 by Jagjaguwar.

KRUI Exclusive Audio:

“Leave” by S. Carey, performed live at PS1


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