• Bryon Harris

The Unfortunates - 'Caroline'

Review by Aaron Coultier & Staff

The W.A M. Awards celebrate the year’s most outstanding independent artists from around the world in multiple genres and categories. "Best Song" and "Best Album" nominations were based on Artistry, Musicianship, Originality, Professionalism, Diversity, and Excellence. W.A.M. stands for "We Are the Music Makers.' The Unfortunates self-titled album was the 2020 W.A.M. Award Winner for Best Album in the rock music category. Off that album, "Caroline" won over the judges.

"Caroline” is a melodic and high energy rock anthem from Edmonton, Alberta natives “The Unfortunates that quickly packs an emotional punch and is over too soon. You'll be playing it on repeat. Driving rhythms, punchy bass and shimmering guitar lines are the house that singer Tanner Gordon’s vocals are built upon. His range shifts from a subdued almost whisper at times to full on belting throughout the course of the song. That said, there are plenty of interesting moments where each instrument shines during playback.

There's an astute attention to arrangement and dynamics going on in “Caroline” as well. Guitarists Leo Contessa and Nathan Stamhuis take a back seat to allow for bass, drums, and what sounds like strings (or possibly sustained lead guitar lines) to stand out and aid in Gordon’s storytelling during the verses.

Naturally, the chorus is big and very high energy as to be expected with a rock tune. Vocal harmonies, loud guitars and drums and help push Gordon’s one word agenda as he belts out simply “Caroline” probably the easiest lyric to ever get stuck in one’s head so good luck with that!

What stands out to me the most in particular is the bridge. A resounding “I need to believe in love again” shows impressive depths of emotion and range from Gordon. The tension is further accentuated by a super tom heavy groove from drummer Brendan McGonigle with bassist Tim Plamondon filling out the low end with great tone and articulation. Stamhuis and Contessa come together to lock in with the rhythm section and create a nice tight wall of sound that ultimately leads the listener forward to Gordon’s Primal Scream. ( I always dig the aggression! Sounding great fellas!)

In short, if accessible, radio-friendly rock with strong hooks that’s not overproduced is your thing, then you will love The Unfortunates. There's a reason this band won best album for the W.A.M. Awards and the song "Caroline" is just one of many.

About the Unfortunates

The Unfortunates are a high energy, alternative rock band from Edmonton, Alberta. Together with their five-piece band the Unfortunates perform their original songs, along with strong lyrical and vocal support. Their distinctive sound packs a punch that you’re sure to remember. The Unfortunates have put out 4 albums in their ten year history and always strive to reflect the time in their lives with their original songs.

For more information on The Unfortunates, please visit their website.


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