"This is an album of freedom and exploration, the sound of people taking risks for the sake of song." When you achieve success, it’s hard to let it go and walk away. So credit to Chris Carrabba for doing just that; for creating a new project, giving it a name other than Dashboard Confessional and starting at the bottom all over again. The floaty, folksy pop of this album could have easily been presented to the world as a rebooted Dashboard, and his decision to let it stand alone is one to admire.
Remember the movie ‘500 Days Of Summer’? The bright and breezy romantic comedy starring the gawky-yet-clearly-handsome Joseph Gordon-Levitt and the ego-shatteringly beautiful Zooey Deschanel was a charming sweep through the perils of romance in your twenties. All blissful walks in the park and aspirational warehouse living it was an endearing, affecting movie. And yet, some of you didn’t even like it.
By virtue of being an introspective singer/songwriter with an acoustic guitar, Chris Carrabba has always been an artist skirting the edge of what is generally referred to as "folk music. " When he made his debut in 2001 under the name Dashboard Confessional, he essentially rebranded emo as something that could also be played without a band or an amp. Over the years, he experimented with various electric versions and expanded lineups, but always seemed most effective in his stripped-down, impassioned, acoustic glory.
The same guy who appealed to broken-hearted teenagers a decade ago with Dashboard Confessional has reinvented his music for his maturing fanbase with Twin Forks. The four-piece, fronted by Chris Carrabba and featuring delightful vocal harmonies by mandolinist Suzie Zeldin, also of the Narrative, create accessible roots and Americana songs akin to John Prine, Bob Dylan and Tom Petty. Carabba once wrote songs about the thrill of new love, but with “Kiss Me Darling,” his heart is soundly sunk in familiarity (“I’ll take the last train back/I’ll wake you when I get there because I miss you bad/I need to feel you more than I ever had”).