Candi Carpenter is a Nashville-based artist, who has a new EP `Demonology – Part 1` released this month and it`s a departure from their country roots for the alternative/pop space where they feel more aligned. Carpenter shares, “Demonology is defined as the study of demons; a doctrine of evil spirits; a catalogue of enemies. This EP is a study of my personal demons. Each song is an attempt to cast out the shame, the fear, and the trauma that have possessed me for so long. I need to name my demons in order to overcome them. Welcome to my exorcism.”

This five tracker opens with `Cult` a narration from the perspective of a preacher`s child and the pains of adolescence and awakening to the fact that all the religious doctrine they has been fed isn`t maybe what it`s cracked up to be. All this is shared over a rolling fairly appealing melodic pop texture. There`s a countdown into `Exorcist` which is a much more reflective quite introspective reflection on growing up and a fairly disturbing recollection on an early sexual encounter that maybe is at the heart of this meditation and need for cleansing. A powerfully raw listen.

`Nervous System` is a bouncy sing a long pop outing relating to the anxieties associated with everyday life and how they affect the singer, real or imagined. It`s almost a stream of consciousness where medieval practices like trepanation are namechecked. We have an amusing tale of the unease felt about a new relationship who is so nice that the artist imagines they may well be a, as the title suggests `Serial Killer`.

We close out with `Skinny` which is a flippant but at the same time deep observation on the obsession with being as thin as others perceive you should be which may well lead to the mental health condition of anorexia. A cautionary tale shared not in a preachy way but over a strummed guitar riff which to me is much more effective.

I have to say `Demonology – Part 1` was a thoughtful and fairly captivating listen on a number of levels. There was some fairly intelligent wordplay shared over some catchy tunes which may have been quite cathartic for this artist.

Roll on Part 2.

Rating 8 / 10

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