I discovered Carissa’s Wierd ten years ago by pure luck, a small article published somewhere, just a note from a live show, mentioning their lo-fi songwriting and their prevalence and predisposition for all things melancholic and slowcore.
Enough to start a fever but the difficulty to find their music at this time was high, a debut album with a limited release on a small and obscure local label. Finally an American friend from the Seattle area, sent me a few of their tracks from their just released debut album and later I finally found a way to their album. And it was just as good as expected, in fact more. They released two more albums and disbanded, and next too this, two more compilations of unreleased and live tracks. Jenn Ghetto released three albums as S and other members of the band released plentiful of uninteresting records.
This is a compilation of previously released tracks announcing the re-release of their three albums on Hardly Art. It's strange for me to listen to this record and unusual track order as I know all these songs almost by heart, as if I spent the nineties under the influence of Mark Kozelek (Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon), the 00's were for Jenn Ghetto (through her work for Carissa's Wierd and S).
Time has passed but every time Jenn sings on this compilation I'm almost shivering and the feelings are simply intact. Maybe the vocals of Mat Brooke have lost part of their charm with his disappointing post-Carissa's Wierd musical activites, but at least when I see her career and the last S album I'm no more regretting the end of Carissa's Wierd in 2003. It's always amazing to realize how much her intervention always transcend the beauty of the songs here, adding depth, subtlety and an insoluble but not desperate melancholy.
Even if this is a nice introduction to the band, I would recommend instead to go directly to the source and find the five albums.