MY MUSES KEEP ON SURROUNDING ME AND KISSING ME GENTLY
A CONVERSATION WITH LAURA CARBONE
Laura Carbone is a songstress who uses her daydreams and compassion for nature to create stunning music. Her dark, imagery-rich, pop rock is presented in a style reminiscent of Neko Case, PJ Harvey, or Karen O, but this isn’t to say it is derivative in any way. Based in Berlin, she recently returned home from her first major North American tour and has already turned those dreamy eyes towards the future.
The dreadful event of being robbed on tour didn’t rob her and her team of having an otherwise beautiful experience overseas. She even says they gained something from it. “We were still so lucky,” she says, “and this experience was actually something good – in regard to being more aware and realizing how well we were capable of dealing with it, and how much help and kindness we received along the way.” Not many could turn the experience of being robbed into a good one, but after understanding a bit about her philosophies, it’s not that hard to see how she’s able to put a positive spin on such a thing.
She offers some highlights of her experience in Canada in particular: “Watching nature pass by the window and change, exploring a little of the scenery when stopping, and of course our shows – they were amazing and a true blessing to experience.” Her favourite show was during Montreal’s International Pop Festival on September 27, and her personal “nature highlight” was “experiencing the intensity of Niagara Falls where we stopped on my birthday.”
Carbone’s former electropunk act, Deine Jugend, who achieved considerable popularity in Germany earlier in the decade, offered an incredibly different sonic landscape from her solo material. Speaking on this, she explains that “I needed a change and a blank canvas in order to create something new and different and to dive into a different sphere of sound.”
Deine Jugend’s lyrics were primarily in German, and when asked what difference singing in English has made, she explains, “English gave me a new way of expressing myself… and gave me another kind of freedom to explore vocal melodies and sounds. My solo career has gotten wider attention – it was a Canadian music blog that first shared the music with the world, followed by a French and a Japanese one.” Interestingly enough, she admits that “it was actually Germany that was kinda slow connecting with this different kind of music.”
Music critics and fans alike have ascribed the term “Lynchian” to her sound – inspired by or reminiscent of the films of David Lynch and his dreamlike surrealist style. But she is motivated by much more than this. “I adore his work but I wouldn’t say he is my main inspiration,” she says. “I get a lot of inspiration from my outside world – from nature and its beauty, as well as my muses that keep on surrounding and kissing me gently. I also dream a lot – asleep and when I’m awake. I let my mind wander and inhale everything there is to see and experience.”
Carbone’s dreamy introspection and celebration of the beauty in nature is obvious in her manner of speaking, her songwriting, and her photography. She brings this appreciation to a photobook that was published as a visual companion to her 2018 album Empty Sea. “I love that fact that I can use all different kinds of mediums to express my visions,” she expresses. “It felt natural to combine what I captured visually with my music – it just made sense.”
Being so attuned to stunning landscapes, it isn’t a stretch for Carbone to possess passionate views on the state of climate change. “I think it’s not possible to separate life and politics at this very moment. It’s important to raise your voice and be present and aware – to start conversations about this climate crisis that could mean the end of the world we’re living in so comfortably right now.”
“I share and sing a lot about the beauty and the beasts of our world,” she continues, “and I do hope people can connect this with their reality to value what surrounds us and to protect it – for ourselves and for the generations to come.”
Her compassion for the need for change is palpable, and she shares her views on recent efforts surrounding the crisis: “The climate strike movement and its inspiring leader Greta Thunberg are omnipresent – and I thank her and everyone following her spirit in order to create a better world.” Speaking on some of Germany’s companies’ recent moves to join the #climatestrike movement, she admits, “Germany has a lot of work to do – as we all do. Knowing how essential the topic has become I do absolutely feel a slow change in our society.”
Carbone is currently working on her third record and is looking forward to expanding these visions of hers with her band in the studio.