The big year

DJ and multi-instrumentalist Marley Carroll is in the middle of a big year. His spring included touring with Emancipator and festival dates at Coachella and Sasquatch; at the end of June he opened for Moby. Twice. ‘This has been definitely the best year as far as touring and getting exposure,’ he tells Xpress. ‘I hope I can continue to stay on the horse.’

Carroll (who grew up in Charlotte) has also released two EPs in the past six months – R&S / Cedars and Our Chimes / Our Piano. ‘The EPs are a really great format because it’s a way for me to work through a lot of the composition styles that I’m interested in exploring but I don’t necessarily want to commit to a full-length,’ says Carroll. Our Chimes delves into organic house sounds while R&S is a study in U.K. dubstep and post-dubstep.

But Carroll says he’s also at work on a song-based full-length, due out late this year or early next. And that’s not unprecedented: The musician’s full band, Melanaster, was a short-lived but brilliant foray into pop-informed experimental indie-rock. But, while band leader and songwriter are not gone from Carroll’s resume (he’s already enlisted Uncle Mountain’s Dan Shearin as engineer for the upcoming project), he does admit that, ‘since the Melanaster band dissolved, it’s been a lot easier and more efficient for me to bring this to audiences.’ He can pack up his DJ equipment at a moment’s notice, and he’s able to both DJ and perform live material – sometimes at the same time. ‘What I’m doing now is singing live and manipulating my backing tracks like a DJ,’ says Carroll. ‘Basically, it’s a DJ set with all original music.’

Though the musician is excited about his 2012 success, he has no plans to leave Asheville. ‘It’s an awesome home base,’ he says. Though it can be difficult for many acts to break out of Asheville to the national stage, Carroll values the creative and relative quiet environment. ‘I can be inspired whether I’m in my room by myself, or in a big city,’ he says. ‘I don’t need to be in a big hub.’

Carroll plays an original music set at LAAFF on Sunday, his first local show in nearly a year.

Marley Carroll plays the 105.9 The Mountain stage on Sunday, 6:45-7 p.m.

Alli Marshall can be reached at amarshall@mountainx.com.

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About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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