Laura-Mary Carter (Blood Red Shoes) shares the video for "Blue's Not My Colour" from debut solo mini-album, Town Called Nothing.
Laura-Mary Carter, best known as one half of rockers Blood Red Shoes, will make her solo debut this December with the release of mini-album, Town Called Nothing.
A much quieter and more contemplative sound than her usual guitar-shredding anthems, Town Called Nothing was written in between tours at various sublets and studios in the UK and Los Angeles.
Today Carter shares new single "Blue's Not My Colour" with accompanying video by award winning director Tim Mattia, and edited by the award winning Jen Kennedy for Lalim Edit.
"I found a beat up acoustic guitar and without thinking about it songs just started to come to me,"
"The idea of writing on an acoustic guitar was new to me, I’d always written songs for my band which has a very heavy disposition. I realised that writing in this intimate way exposed my voice and changed the way I was writing and singing lyrics."
Shot in a day in August this year in Joshua Tree, Carter expands:
"I drove out to see my friends Tim and Jen and we decided to make a video last minute. It was probably the most relaxed video I have ever made … nothing to do with the large consumption of margaritas.
After telling Tim about my obsession with Elvis memorabilia, we had to get some of that in. We wanted it to have a nod at the film American Beauty too, which you can maybe pick up on in the pool with the flag. Luna is the name of the sweet little dog, a blue chihuahua."
Laura-Mary says of the song:
"'Blue's Not My Colour'is about to wanting an uncomplicated relationship. I was listening to a lot of music like Patsy Cline at the time and I thought I want to write a type of love song but flip the script with a little bit of humour to it."
“She told me that I will always see a different town on a different day," says Laura-Mary Carter, about Town Called Nothing... recalling her first ever tarot reading as an early teen.
“I get it now."
It’s no surprise then, that Laura-Mary found herself starting the rock band Blood Red Shoes, who have spent 17 years touring the world. Playing well over 1000 shows, from London to Los Angeles and Moscow to Melbourne, she was sometimes away from home for over 250 days of the year, and with plenty more to come. But her detachment from a place called “home” started much earlier in life.
Born to an Irish family, Laura-Mary moved around a lot as a child, and was the only one of three siblings born in the UK.
“I guess I’ve always been the odd one out, and on top of that everyone is much more outgoing than me."
Introverted and artistic from a young age, Laura-Mary started writing songs and spent a lot of time painting.
“I mean I was studying art actually… but the band happened,”
This sense of displacement is at the core of Laura-Mary’s story and right at the core of her debut solo release “Town Called Nothing”. During a break from touring, she relocated to Los Angeles, continuing her lifelong tradition of constantly moving around.
“Nobody ever knows where I live," she sighs, “it’s like a running joke with my friends."
Even whilst in LA, she didn’t sit still. Moving around between different air’n’b sublets as she kept extending her stay, she landed in a rickety place which by chance had a battered acoustic guitar on the wall, with a couple of missing strings.
“It was just me, alone, and I couldn’t write songs the usual way because I didn’t have volume and distortion. Plus the only thing you could use that guitar for was really traditional chords, everything else was out of tune."
It proved to be a very creative time and a much-needed outlet for a softer, more reflective side of Laura-Mary.
“I have no idea where it came from but I just wrote these straightforward chords and the lyrics came out…a town called nothing."
A country-indebted lament about the inescapable pull of a relationship doomed to fail, it was the gateway to a new world of songwriting for Laura-Mary, who explains,
“it’s about going back to that emotional place, even though you know it’s empty, but you find yourself compelled to go back.”
Continuing her once-a-year habit of having her tarot read, she found a lady to read her cards in Venice Beach of all places. According to the tarot, Laura-Mary would “find her heart in Arizona". Always ready to move on to the next town, she decided to leave the next morning, opened her phone and pulled up a map of Arizona. Scouring across the sparse deserts and plains, she froze in her tracks at one tiny name. “Nothing”.
“There’s an actual real place called Nothing. It was literally fate."
she says, wide-eyed and clearly still in disbelief.
And so it began, a period of restlessness, driving around the USA with just an acoustic guitar and a film camera, so she could engage in one of her other passions - photography. Drawn to the romance of run down, empty ghost towns, they felt like the physical representation of a lot of her own feelings of outsiderdom, of being the odd one out, of being alone.
“Someone once told me I am a love addict, and this felt the same - feeling pulled back to places even though you know there is really nothing there.”
The collection of songs on Town Called Nothing were written in this time, then recorded, of course, in not one but in multiple studios, across both the USA and the UK. It shows a yearning, mournful, Americana-tinged and introspective side of the artist, with her voice allowed more space than ever before to really dominant and shape the narrative.
It’s that fear which pushes people back to places even when they know there’s no reason. Just as the artist herself says,
“I kept going back to the town called Nothing, because the sign said ‘population: 2’, and I wanted to know if anyone was really there. But there wasn’t. It was always just me by myself.”
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