Music review: Carmody's intimate moments
A couple of months back Not So Popular attended Carmody's first headline gig at cosy venue, The Waiting Room, in Stoke Newington and we were blown away by her sweeping vocals and personal touch. Our writer and all-round-NSP-creative, Cath Bridgman speaks to her about her influences, creative friendships and what it's like to be a woman in the industry.
Not So Popular: You had your first headline gig not too long ago. How did that feel?
Carmody: Like a dream, it's a big cliche, but I seriously never imagined I'd get 20 people in a room to listen to my music let alone 100, and some people I didn't even know, real-life strangers coming to listen to me, it felt magic.
How long have you been writing and singing?
I've been singing my whole life really, but only started writing songs after a really bad break up in my first year at University. I kinda thought - where can I put all this achy-post break up stuff and song writing seemed like the logical outlet at the time.
Tell us more about your sound, creative process and influences.
I started off listening to all the classic singer-songwriters - Leonard Cohen, Joan Armatrading, Joni Mitchell, Judee Sill (mainly influenced by my dad's record collection) but have since been inspired by arts such as Kadjha Bonet, Charlotte Day Wilson and Siv Jakobsen, there's so many beautiful sounds out there. My motto for my tracks is to continue on my miserable-folk-esque-moody path but work with producers like Jasper Tygner (who produced the last 3 singles) so people can have a beat and something to move to, no matter how dark the songs might be.
I think of your music as very small, precious and relatable moments expanded into something more. Is that at all what you're going for?
Wow, that's really very lovely of you, and yes I do feel it's really important to write about stuff people can relate to. I have no qualms about being totally candid and exposed in my lyrics in the hope that people will be able to say - I've felt like that too. I think that's one of the most important purposes in song writing, allowing the listener to feel things with you.
You have a lot of talented friends. How do you guys work together to get the best out of each other?
I know! It's mad, I actually struggle with 'imposter syndrome' sometimes cause everyone's just so damn musical and I feel so lucky to be surrounded by such incredible individuals. I think everyone knows each other's strengths and we lean on each other a lot as the industry can be a really tough place. I always turn to Laura Misch for touring ideas/feedback on my new songs etc, Tom Misch has all the great chords, as does Alfa Mist and Marie Dahlstrom has an amazing ear for harmonies and arrangements of the songs live - I am forever grateful to them all.
What are you working on right now?
I'm currently just about to finish my next single 'Like That', it just needs a few more hours (fingers crossed) and will be released in September. After that, I have another track called 'The Ways of your Love' then I'm moving on to a 7 track EP I think/hope. I also have videos for 'The Light of Me' and 'Missing' that I'm really excited to release.
What are your future plans?
Another EP and eventually an album, would love to do another support tour soon too and hit the festivals next year, I love a festival.
What are you experiences of the industry as a woman? Do you have to fight harder?
I'm really hyper-sensitive to this and sometimes think to myself - 'would you say this to me if I was a man?' things like - 'have you turned the volume up on the guitar?' during a soundcheck when the guitar's not working or they comment on what you're wearing as opposed to how your performance went, all that stuff can be infuriating and I still find that I'm the only woman in the room way too much of the time, but I do think it's getting better, it feels like people are waking up to something, which makes me happy.