Carrtoons is a producer/multi-instrumentalist from New York who started releasing music five years ago. His output has been pretty steady in that time, and it’s also found him recently collaborating with the likes of Reuben James and Marcus Machado. His most recent solo release came in 2020, when he released the album Saturday Morning. Now he’s back with a new album, making his debut on Wichita with Homegrown.

If you’ve never listened to Carrtoons before, Homegrown is a great place to start, because you get a really well-rounded look at the artist. As the album opens, we get this soul-sampling instrumental hip hop with a slightly eerie edge to it that is reminiscent of RJD2. Then, when we get to “Groceries,” featuring Nigel Hall (of Lettuce), the music takes a turn towards classic soul, with an early Motown feel to the production. With “Be There For You,” Carrtoons takes a page from Donuts-era Dilla, cutting up the soul samples into tiny segments and reimagining the whole construction of the track that keeps you on your toes. On “Lighta,” featuring Rae Khalil, we get one of the standout singles of the album as Carrtoons lays down these really crisp drum and hit hat hits and minimal organ melody, letting Khalil really shine as she develops this great flow that is both really melodic and rhythmically complex, falling somewhere in between Chance the Rapper and Anderson.Paak. She also comes up with a great hook that will stay in your head for days. As you continue to work your way through the album, Carrtoons continues to refine his sound and give you these different looks, but you can rest assured that it’s always going to be soulful, funky, and musically compelling.

Homegrown is an excellent step forward for Carrtoons. He has given us an album that is easy to listen to and enjoy, but it’s full of a lot of musical depth, great guest spots, killer singles, and production that bumps. A lot more people are going to be paying attention after this album.