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Monday, October 18, 2021

Local musician caro releases newest album

“Introspection,” the third album from the UF electrical engineering senior, resolves to stay present amid the passage of time

Graphic by Shelby Cotta
Graphic by Shelby Cotta

The verses of “Tuvwxyz Plane,” the third track on Carolina Garcia’s new album, are separated by a series of voice memos and soundbites, all discussing the potential for a parallel universe and alternate realities. 

The first interlude consists of complex ideas  — the construction of time and space, the existence of life on other planets — but a simple statement cuts in.

First in English, then in Spanish: “The future is uncertain. El futuro es incierto.”

The 22-year-old UF electrical engineering senior, who makes music as caro, released “Introspection” July 9. The album blends Garcia’s classical piano beginnings with chillwave and R&B, representing the array of musical influences in her production.

 The album tackles the fears of passing time, but instead of settling on negative emotions, Garcia’s music is all about living in the moment.

“Introspection” is Garcia’s third album, following 2019’s “Abstract Concept” and “Infinity,” but her musical history spans much further than her first official releases. She played piano since she was 5 years old and started composing in middle school. She began with orchestral and cinematic music and then branching off into more contemporary compositions.

Built on her classical foundations and inspired by albums like Tyler, The Creator’s “Flower Boy” and Frank Ocean’s “Channel Orange,” Garcia said “Introspection” is the culmination of all her influences. Tracks like “Exploring Space” pair laser-like synths and house percussion machines with light piano melodies. “You Are Beautiful” is anchored on a reverb-washed guitar lick that gives way to oscillating synthesizer chords.

With the myriad of musical styles present, Garcia said the album is beyond categorization.

“It’s kind of an experimental genre, I’d call it,” she said.

Garcia recorded “Introspection” over a period of a year and a half, recording snippets of conversations with friends and family and injecting them into her original soundscapes. Thematically, the album offers commentary on self-image, relationships, social media and future uncertainties through the eyes of Garcia and those closest to her.

The topics are both hypothetical and rooted in reality. “Hablando De Time,” or “Talking About Time,” is more philosophical, encouraging the listener to forgo fears of the future in favor of enjoying the present with another voice message. “Snapchat” touches on modern internet culture, commenting on the 21st century dilemma of a fabricated online presence.

“What you see on the screen can be so different than what that person’s actual reality is,” Garcia said. “People are almost trying to hide themselves.”

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“Introspection” features guest spots from Tinzo, a New York-based jazz and soul vocalist, and Max Rosewater, a rapper and producer from Tampa. Garcia recruited the two, both long-time acquaintances, to appear on the project during the summer of 2020.

The collaborations occurred virtually, Garcia said, with beats and recordings sent over texts, emails and Google Drive. Though the distance was a challenge, Garcia said the experience ultimately aided her development as an artist.

“Any constructive criticism I see as a growing experience,” she said.

Garcia said the musical and lyrical feedback she received from Rosewater and Tinzo helped fine-tune the album, but “Introspection” was guided by her creative ideas. Rosewater, a 22-year-old UF advertising graduate, said his verses on “Tuvwxyz Plane” were inspired by Garcia’s specific vision for the track.

Though his first attempt didn’t quite fit the description, Rosewater said he adjusted his second effort to better match Garcia’s ideas. With Garcia at the helm, Rosewater said it was important for his lyrics to be on the same wavelength as her concept for the song. 

“As an artist, you want to project whatever the image is in your head onto the canvas, which is the sound,” Rosewater said.

The vision turned out better than he could have imagined, he said. “Introspection” was an instant favorite, Rosewater said, and it made him excited for Garcia’s future endeavors — not only as a collaborator but also as a fan.

“She’s definitely going to continue to do more great stuff,” he said.

Garcia said “Introspection” represents significant advances in her artistry. The first album incorporates more contemporary influences, and she said the musical expansion reflects her style more accurately than her previous acoustic, piano compositions.  

The future may be unclear, but Garcia said continuing to make music is a certainty. She’s set to graduate this Fall, and though she doesn’t know where she’ll end up yet, she said the music will follow wherever she goes.

“I’m just seeing where the vibes take me.”

“Introspection” is available on all streaming platforms

  

Contact Heather at hbushman@alligator.org. Follow her on Twitter @hgrizzl.

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