Local duo Carling & Will issues second EP, 'Soon Comes Night'
BENNINGTON — In the mountains of Southern Vermont, Dorset natives Carling Berkhout and William Seeders Mosheim were drawn to each other through music. Two years after their meeting, they became Carling & Will, a contemporary folk duo that is just about to issue their second EP.
Berkhout and Mosheim both grew up in musically inclined families, influencing them from a young age.
"My father was a singer-songwriter based out of Los Angeles in the 1960s, so I grew up listening to a lot of folk music that has definitely influenced my own work," Berkhout, 22, said. "My mom was a cellist in the Sage City Symphony and throughout my childhood I would attend the performances at Bennington College."
She credits her parents for not only introducing her to music at a young age, but for encouraging her to play instruments as well. At the age of 6 she began learning the cello, and then moved to the piano.
Mosheim, 36, who primarily plays guitar and fiddle, had been a member in a local bluegrass band called Gold Town. He began his music career early, teaching himself to play electric guitar at the age of 11.
"It kind of started to sit in the living room until I picked it up and started to teach myself," Mosheim said. In addition to the guitar he plays a multitude of instruments, including the banjo, fiddle, bass and pedal steel guitar.
In addition to being half of Carling & Will, Mosheim now makes instruments at his company, Seeders Instruments in Dorset.
The duo met serendipitously in 2014, thanks to Berkhout's father.
"I had been gifted a banjo for my birthday from my father and he got me lessons with Will," Berkhout said.
After a year of banjo lessons, they began to play music together, and in January 2016 they played their first gig.
On Friday, Carling & Will will release their second EP, "Soon Comes Night." While their first EP was a self-titled album back in 2016 that consisted of all traditional tunes, this EP features original songs that to Berkhout are "an innovative take on a lot of traditional music."
Four years ago, Carling & Will wrote a song titled "Indian Summer," which was the genesis of "Soon Comes Night."
"We captured an uncommon sound because we combined an electric guitar and open back banjo," explained Berkhout.
Mosheim believes that the combination of their individual strengths helps keep them "grounded and looking towards the future." He credits a part of it to their 14-year age gap, providing them with a range in perspective and experience.
"I bring a lot of experience with the music industry, with writing music, with performing music of all different genres on many different instruments. Carling brings a fresh set of eyes and a lot of drive to create something new because it's so exciting and new to her," he said.
The duo's music is majorly instrumental, capturing the gentleness and beauty of folk music. Berkhout's personal favorite is "Lillie's Lullaby," because it was written for her sister Lillie. Berkhout describes the EP perfectly as "melancholy but simultaneously high spirited," with "soft moving songs and upbeat fiddle tunes."
The EP was recorded and produced locally with the help of Andrew Koss, a studio engineer and owner of The Studio At Strawberry Fields Lane in Manchester. The duo also engaged David Glasser of AirShow Mastering based in Boulder, Colo., to master their album.
While the EP was originally set to be released in early May, it was postponed to Friday due to COVID-19. But the pandemic changed more than just their release date.
"Our tour got cancelled," Berkhout said. "We were supposed to have an album release tour."
Their promotional tour was to have started with an album release show at the Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester before traveling north to Burlington and south all the way to Clyde, N.C.
"That all got cancelled mid-March when everything kind of hit the fan. That shifted drastically that we realized that in order to get people to listen to it we would have to change our marketing," Berkhout said.
The duo had previously played in festivals such as the Green Mountain Bluegrass and Roots Festival as well as the Picking in the Pines music festival and, according to Mosheim, were hoping to begin performing more before the virus hit.
"Generally, as a duo we only play a handful of shows a year. I began to reevaluate how much time I spend on the stage and refocusing on that," he said.
Instead, the duo creatively brainstormed new ideas on how to share their music with the community from a distance. One of their ideas was to begin creating more videos as well as transcribing tabs to sell for fans who want to learn how to play their music.
For many artists, tours are essential to growing a fanbase nationally and internationally, making COVID-19 detrimental to many artists and musicians.
"For full time musicians the pandemic means they are out of work for a year," Berkhout explained.
However, communities can still help artists in a multitude of ways ranging from buying physical CD copies, vinyl, merchandise as well as streaming on platforms — the latter being the least effective, Berkhout explained, because streaming services such as Spotify barely pay artists for their spins.
"You can have your song listened to thousands of times and make less than $10," Berkhout said.
Carling & Will hope that their music will also give back to the community by providing "an inner piece of solace." The EP title, "Soon Comes Night," is from a sundial motto that reflects time's transitory nature.
For Mosheim, creating music is a way to "express myself and my own view of the world and my feelings and thoughts on it."
"Moments are constantly fleeting. This pandemic more than ever pushed us to want to release the music," said Berkhout.
To learn more about Carling & Will and pre-order a copy of "Soon Comes Night," visit https://carlingandwill.com/index.php/product/carling-will-soon-comes-night-cd/
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