Premiere: John Raymond & S. Carey Rise Up From the Shadowlands to Coalesce in “Chrysalis”

S. Carey & John Raymond © Kyle Lehman
S. Carey & John Raymond © Kyle Lehman
As epic as it is intimate, John Raymond and S. Carey’s “Chrysalis” is the cinematic, soul-stirring product of raw connection, collaboration, and a vision undeterred.
Stream: “Chrysalis” – John Raymond & S. Carey




This communal approach and spirit is one of the hidden X factors in the making of ‘Shadowlands.’

As epic as it is intimate, “Chrysalis” is the cinematic, soul-stirring product of raw connection, collaboration, and a vision undeterred.

When Sean Carey (better known by his artist name, S. Carey) and John Raymond release their album Shadowlands later this month, it will be the exhilarating culmination to a project that spanned thousands of miles and took several years – not to mention plenty of blood, sweat, and tears – to bring to life. The indie folk cult favorite and Grammy-nominated jazz trumpeter have already teased several moving tracks over the past few months, highlighting the unique musical marriage of their distinct backgrounds and styles, but nothing hits quite as hard as their latest unveiling.

This is the music of the moment, ready to be the tender, smoldering soundtrack to our autumnal wanderings. A breathtaking eruption of jazz-tinged indie folk warmth and wonder, “Chrysalis” is a visceral and vulnerable enchantment full of soaring highs, stunning lows, and a world of sound in-between.

Shadowlands
Shadowlands – John Raymond & S. Carey
She can see the clouds approach from miles
She can see the forest from new eyes
Perfect in her form, the two intertwine
Wouldn’t you hide it in the fog
Wouldn’t you hide it in the fog
Wouldn’t you hide it in the fog

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Chrysalis,” the immersive fourth single taken off Shadowlands (out September 15, 2023 via Libellule Editions). Following the album’s spellbinding lead single “Calling” (featuring Aaron Parks), the gorgeously glistening and beautifully delicate seduction “Steadfast” (featuring Gordi), and the brooding instrumental track “Transient,” “Chrysalis” is both something old and something new, something borrowed and – if music were color – something blue.

It’s the reworking of an old S. Carey song (“Chrysalis” first appeared on New Year’s Day 2014, as the B-side to Range of Light‘s lead single, “Fire-scene”), and yet you’d be forgiven for not recognizing the track as it appears today, having been completely transformed by Raymond, Carey, producer Sun Chung, and the rest of their band (which includes Aaron Parks on piano, Dave Devin on guitar, and Chris Morrissey on bass). Whereas the original S. Carey release is a largely stripped-down affair – with a lone acoustic guitar providing the bulk of the track’s melodic and percussive accompaniment – the Raymond-Carey version is like a gentle giant: Full of sound, yet still tempered; tastefully done up so as to envelop our ears and tickle our imagination, without overwhelming our senses.

Brave new world, you’re slipping on a slide
We can check the fall from the other side
Perfect in her form, the two intertwine
Wouldn’t you hide it in the fog
Wouldn’t you hide it in the fog
Wouldn’t you hide it in the fog
S. Carey & John Raymond and band © Kyle Lehman
S. Carey & John Raymond and band © Kyle Lehman



S. Carey’s vocal performance is as atmospheric as it’s ever been: He sings over an ever-evolving bed of instruments that feels at once subtle, yet intense; from the emotionally charged, lilting piano chords that guide the first minute of the song, to Raymond’s emotive trumpet work that glides over the track like snow does a mountain, “Chrysalis” arrives to the ears like a fragile fever dream: Soft, sweet, and unapologetic.

“When we were putting together the music for album, producer Sun Chung had the idea of bringing in a preexisting song of Sean’s and trying to put a new spin on it,” John Raymond tells Atwood Magazine. “‘Chrysalis’ came to mind right away, and John brought in some ideas to start. We changed the key and opened up the bridge section, but otherwise didn’t really know how it was going to turn out until we got in the studio with the full band. We ended up tracking the song on the first night we were all together. After playing it through a couple times, everyone’s parts started to emerge. Each musician contributed something special that brought it to life in a new way, from the opening piano chords by Aaron Parks to the driving guitar and bass lines by Dave Devine and Chris Morrissey and more. What came out was this sort of alt-rock meets progressive jazz aesthetic, and we ended up getting a magical take that highlights the band dynamic we had in the studio, not to mention the incredible musicianship of everyone involved.”

“This communal approach and spirit is one of the hidden X factors in the making of Shadowlands. At one point, when additional sessions kept getting postponed by the pandemic, we contemplated the idea of tracking parts to all the songs remotely. We decided to wait until we could all be together, because we knew that we couldn’t manufacture the electricity and musical interplay that comes from being in the same room with each other. When we finally convened, everyone coming from their respective homes across the world, it felt very special and meaningful to make music with each other. Everyone could feel the magic that was happening. “Chrysalis” is definitely one of the songs where you can hear and feel that connection the most.”

S. Carey & John Raymond © Kyle Lehman
S. Carey & John Raymond © Kyle Lehman



The rain came
Brought new life
We’re shedding shells
And we blossom overnight

“Chrysalis” is as good an introduction as any to the world of Shadowlands – a world built by two old friends, reuniting in Eau Claire, Wisconsin to combine their strengths and create something bold, special, and altogether new. Stream John Raymond & S. Carey’s new single exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and stay tuned for the upcoming release of their full-length release – a record that promises to dazzle the ears and stir the soul.

Shadowlands is out September 15, 2023!

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:: stream/purchase Shadowlands here ::
Stream: “Chrysalis” – John Raymond & S. Carey



2023 Tour Dates

John Raymond & S. Carey

9/29 – Minneapolis, MN: Cedar Cultural Center
9/30 – Iowa City, IA: The James
10/1 – Eau Claire, WI: Masonic Temple
10/3 – Milwaukee, WI: The Cooperage
10/4 – Evanston, IL: Space
10/5 – Ann Arbor, MI: The Ark
10/6 – Bloomington, IN: FAR Center for Contemporary Arts
10/26 – Newport News, VA: Ferguson Hall
10/29 – Brooklyn, NY: National Sawdust
10/30 – Philadelphia, PA: MilkBoy Philly
10/31 – Northampton, MA: Parlor Room
11/1 – Boston, MA: The Red Room
11/2 – Durham, NH: University of New Hampshire
11/3 – New Haven, CT: Firehouse 12

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Shadowlands

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Discover new music on Atwood Magazine
? © Kyle Lehman

:: Stream S. Carey ::



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