Captives On The Carousel are my latest (and most favourite) Sheffield discovery. I had been hearing the name drifting around for a while, but I finally managed to catch them live a couple of weeks ago at a charity gig where they were playing alongside fellow Sheffield bands Young Peculiar and Screaming Maldini. For me, as a committed fan of folk music (and especially folk that errs on the side of ethereal), it was pretty much love at first listen.
Singer and guitarist Sarah and cellist Ben have been playing as a pair since 2008, when Ben started joining Sarah at her solo shows. In 2009, they decided to make things official and Captives On The Carousel was born. Together they sing haunting folk originals, in which delicate strings and dark-edged prosaic lyrics soothe you into a dreamlike and otherworldly existence.
Since the middle of 2011, the duo have been, as their website puts it, ‘taking things more seriously’, and with the help of friends succeeded in putting out a self-released debut EP. This was followed by another, ‘The Garden’, in 2012. They’ve been busy working the folk festival circuit in the summertime, as well as securing stage-time at Tramlines, Peace in the Park and Off The Tracks, and have recently spent some time touring to promote their latest EP release.
If you’d like to find out more about the wonderful folkiness of Captives On The Carousel, visit their website or their Facebook page. There’s also plenty of gorgeous tracks to listen to on their Soundcloud profile – go check them out, you won’t be disappointed.