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Carolina Story Receives Critical Acclaim For Sophomore Release 'Dandelion'

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The album was released on September 4th.

Carolina Story Receives Critical Acclaim For Sophomore Release 'Dandelion'

Carolina Story's celebrated sophomore album Dandelion released earlier this month (September 4) via Black River Americana, garnering widespread acclaim from press including Billboard, The Bluegrass Situation, Parade, American Songwriter and more. Featuring the gorgeous harmonies of husband and wife duo Ben and Emily Roberts, Dandelion finds the pair emerging from a period of significant artistic and personal growth as they deliver their most personal work to date. The album has received airplay on BBC's The Country Show with Bob Harris and BBC Radio Sheffield's New Traditions with Greg Russell, and was recently featured on NPR's All Songs Considered, with Ann Powers calling it "a beautiful, uplifting record" and Stephen Thompson saying "These songs are right in this kind of earnest, uplifting sweet spot, kind of somewhere between The Civil Wars and The Lone Bellow...this record really felt like comfort food to me in the best possible way."

Dandelion is a captivating collection of raw, honest storytelling with a lush instrumental blend of folk intimacy, country grit and alt-rock muscle. Taking inspiration from the formidable flower itself, Carolina Story strikes a delicate balance between hope and despair as they explore a bigger, bolder sound. Sounds Like Nashville called the title track "a thoughtful blast of laid-back Americana with a pinch of rock and roll energy," and Rolling Stone Country hailed their swirling new single "Don't Leave Me In The Morning," saying "Evoking some of the tension that made the Civil Wars so thrilling, Ben and Emily Roberts intertwine their voices for a lightly psychedelic folk its end, the song has transformed into an epic rock number of soaring strings and George Harrison-style electric guitar leads." Singles from the album have also been featured on top folk/Americana playlists including Spotify's Indigo, Apple Music's Southern Craft, Amazon Music's Brushland, YouTube's Americana Hotlist and more.

The follow-up to Carolina Story's acclaimed 2018 debut Lay Your Head Down (Black River Americana), Dandelion was recorded with acclaimed producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Paul Moak (Joy Williams, Ashley Monroe). The pair's sophomore effort is elevated with live studio performances from their longtime touring bandmates, and Emily's powerful vocals are on full display as she sings lead for the first time. "Ben was a little more front and center on the last album while I was in the thick of motherhood with a newborn and a toddler," explains Emily, "but this record offered a chance for the two of us to really stand together on equal footing. Balance is key, both in a marriage and a band, and the way we share lead on these songs and sing collectively as one voice feels like a strong representation of our relationship."

From the poignant "See You When I See You," a thoughtful portrayal of deteriorating friendships, to the compelling "Hold Of Me," an ode to finding strength in one another, Dandelion offers a reflective look at moments of loneliness, depression and economic hardship, illustrated with the kind of vulnerability and empathy that can only come from lived experience. The album represents not only Carolina Story's relentless perseverance, but also the enduring strength of the human spirit.

"There's just something about the dandelion that spoke to us," says Ben. "It's this humble, unassuming plant that's so tough it can grow through cracks in concrete. It's an underdog, just like us."

Listen to the album here:

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