La Blogotheque have a great new session recorded with Carina Round. Her new EP Things You Should Know is out now.
If you ever find that you’ve stopped growing, the chances are that you might be dead. Carina Round knows this better than most. Her development as an artist has been exponential ever since she was a youngster, growing up in the economically deprived Low HIll area of Wolverhampton, England. “I was the only person at school who would be in the music room during lunch time”, she remembers. “When I told everyone I wanted to study music, the teachers were like ‘that’s great but you need a real subject to fall back on’. That made me so mad”.
Spurred on by the rejection of the idea that what she was doing was merely a hobby, she recorded her first album in the shape of the erratic but dripping First Blood Mystery (2001). Her love of legends like Patti Smith and Jeff Buckley was unmistakable, but the follow-up and Interscope debut, The Disconnection (2004), took those influences into much more powerful and personal realms. It landed her worldwide exposure in the process and she relocated to Los Angeles to capitalize on her newfound adulation. And with the Glen Ballard-produced third album Slow Motion Addict (2007), Carina not only created a more polished and rounded sounding album but also introduced a different side to her work thanks to an accompanying movie, split into 12 parts to match the album’s songs and starring herself as the troubled lead character Maisie Scarlett.
In the space of ten years, Carina went from tinkering in a high-school music room to becoming a fully realized conceptual singer and songwriter. But there’s more- so much more- still to come from this multi-faceted talent. Aside from self-releasing the Things You Should Know EP (2009), the last year has also seen her work with Tool’s Maynard James Keenan on his Puscifer side-project as well as have Smashing Pumpkins main man Billy Corgan ask to play on one of her latest songs ‘Got To Go (The L.A. Song)’. “Billy and Maynard always see themselves as works in progress and that inspired me to see the possibilities and different outcomes of my own songs”, explains Carina with an excitement and sense of rejuvenation that drips from every word. “Watching these guys constantly shape-shifting and embracing the freedom of not being shackled to a record company has spurred me on. It made me embrace the freedom of being an artist and doing what you want once again. It gave me another wind of inspiration and it’s quite thrilling”.
That wind of inspiration is not only audible in the raw sound and direct feel of her newest material, it’s also something that is beginning to seep into her live shows too. “I got so comfortable with my life shows- it’s so easy to just go onstage and play my guitar”, she adds. “it’s not that I want to be gimmicky; I just want to put more of myself into the performance and use that as the creative process to rather than just be the presentation of the song”. But Carina Round’s evolution is not just about change for the sake of change because at the core of her every creation is a soul that stems from a deeply personal source. In this era of GaGa-esque artifice and wholesale vapidity, Carina remains one of the increasingly few artist who knows that the best things come from within. It’s always been the common threat in her music right from her days growing up in Wolverhampton, and Carina has no intention of changing that particular aspect of what she does. “I sing to feel. I don’t want to make music that doesn’t mean anything. All of the new songs I’ve written are really personal. There’s one new song I’ve written called ‘You and Me’ which makes me cry. If it can do that to me then it could do that to someone else. That’s my intention”.
Things You Should Know: