Stephanie Phillips – Carousel of Hope | Celebrating Life
Progressive folk singer-songwriter Stephanie Phillips has crafted a warm and fuzzy bouquet of songs with Carousel of Hope which emote a range of stories and emotions. In her own words, the album came about from making music her priority and finding new love. Her influences include Cat Stevens, Billy Joel, and Dan Fogelberg among others.
Finger-picked acoustic guitar playing is what greets us with the first track Lifeline. The mood changes from a more hopeful to laid back, little ruminant on the second song 6 Feet. On New Kind of Love, the third track, from the elaborate finger picking, we move to good old strumming. This changes the mood to a more joyful campfire feel as Stephanie sings of novel love and the happiness that comes with it. Father’s Day is a mostly sad song about missing the most important of founding people in our lives.
Lately is a nostalgic song about a time gone by, when time was slow. My Favourite Hobby is a hummable song with energy and vigour. The title song “Carousel of Hope” is a sweet tune with some great percussion and a vibe of happiness and the creation of expectations for better things to come. Don’t Wanna Know is a song that will evoke a sense of moving forward. A more mirthy mood with some astute drumming is created on Nature’s Concerto. An aptly titled Love Is the Best Thing We Do, and Twenty-Four Years with its emotional lyrics conclude this record by Stephanie Phillips on a sentimental note.
The various songs feature a range of collaborators including Stephanie’s daughter Mackenzie Markstein “Mcknz” on keys and production, Kenny Johnson on drums, Jack Zaferes on bass. Stephanie’s singing has composure, control, an emotional core, and firmness. The guitar tone is crystal clean and pristine, shining. It is a true joy to hear the guitar tone combined with the harmonized two part vocals. Recording and mixing engineer Josh Lis does a fabulous job creating the perfect mix. The intimate and intimate sound of the acoustic guitar and vocals allow the lyrics to take center stage, telling stories of love, loss, and life. The album is filled with a range of emotions, from joy to sadness, and is sure to resonate with listeners who are looking for something more personal and heartfelt.
This collection of folk songs showcases her ability to emotively tell a range of stories and convey a range of emotions. Each song is a warm and fuzzy poetic narrative that showcases Phillips’ skills as a songwriter and performer. Phillips’ ability to draw on life to create relatable and engaging music is the connection forged between music and listener. Whether you’re looking for a record that will transport you to another place and time or one that will simply make you feel fuzzy, Carousel of Hope is a must listen.
Stephanie Phillips has sculpted a forward looking folk record with a feel for aspiration while being rooted in human emotions and experience.