Carrier 21 is a Belgian band based in Antwerp. Their style is a fusion influenced by electro pop, indie rock and lounge. They also add some elements from contemporary other electronic styles but with respect for guitars and vocals. Carrier 21’s members are Stefanie Schaekers – lead vocals, Pieter Truyens – guitars and Luc Dooms – keyboards and electronics.
Accessible and fun yet with an underlying aggression and angst paired with strong beats and a full bodied vocal, Carrier 21 has created an album with “In The Cloud” that many established pop stars don’t seem to be capable of making.
Lead vocalist Stefanie Schaekers deserves much of the credit for the success of this album. A lot of similar bands have female vocals that are pretty thin, but Stefanie has a fuller sound, better range and an uncanny skill at building layers of drama and emotion through tonal and timbre changes. She can casually get away with dark lyrics at times and still have the music sound danceable and light given her clear tone.
Musically, Carrier 21 has the ability to stomp out major anthems for intense highs. “Last Thing for Summer”, “One Step Ahead” and “Electric” are mind numbingly catchy with choruses that will wreak havoc with your subconscious. “Breakfast Time” and “Right After Midnight” have a very ethereal almost movie score quality to them which is very interesting. But all throughout, the beats are dynamic, multi-toned, each song has an unexpected chord progression and is well-layered.
The more you listen, the more you’ll love “In The Cloud”. Your favorite track will likely change too. I went from “True Love”, to “Electric” and now it is “A Shape in Mind”. I have been listening to this whole album for the last two days and gone through it about 5 times now. I am honestly surprised at how every song is very good.
The melodies will haunt so many emotional recesses in your mind, like seeing a familiar face you recognize but can’t place. Carrier 21 take Luc Dooms’ shimmering synths, then add deeply insightful lyrics and drape it with Pieter Truyens’ stylized and jangly guitar sounds. The total sum is just spectacular and addictive!
Nowadays we’re overwhelmed by a large number of electronic music artists that become one-hit-wonders, by simply using matter over substance. And then along comes a creative band like Carrier 21 who plan to take the musical world by storm, step-by-step, with an impressive album filled with beautiful sounds, outstanding arrangements and that captivating voice of Stefanie Schaekers!