Carmody
Interviews

Q&A: Carmody

Lock chatted to singer-songwriter, Carmody, about her music and festive new single – ‘It’s Always Christmas’.

Summarise your sound in five words or phrases…

Wandering folk electronic beat-filled musings

What inspires your music? Do you write about your past experiences?

Yes, my songs always seem to stem from somewhere inside. I just find it too difficult to write about things I haven’t experienced. Luckily, and sadly, life is always giving you lots of things to write about, just as a relationship feels steady and almost unwritable, another sphere of your life crumbles a little and gives you something you need to sing out. I guess you can also write about happy things, but I’ve struggled to do this in the past.

When did you learn to play the guitar and do you play any other instruments?

I’ve had an on and off relationship with guitar since school. But I’ve finally fallen in love and I’m really dedicating more time to it now and trying to get to the point where I walk off stage and people speak to me about my guitar playing rather than my voice, that’s a main aim for next year. I’m a ‘studio’ keys player ha! I don’t think I’d play it live, but i can get by. I also love playing the autoharp, but I haven’t managed to write enough with it to sneak it into my set yet.

You write and perform your own tracks. Which part of the music creation process is your favourite and why?

I love being in the studio, it’s where I feel most at home. Playing live is beautiful, but there are so many factors to whether you feel you’ve had a successful performance and I struggle with the surrounding stresses, it hurts my heart/head/body sometimes. But when you’re in the studio and you’ve made something you can’t stop listening to, that’s a moment I really treasure.

Your most recent song ‘It’s Always Christmas’ was released on November 30th. What made you decide to write and release a Christmas song?

I’ve always wanted to write a Christmas song, I’ve thought about it a lot, probably too much than is really appropriate. It felt like a good challenge, an almost impossible one. There are so many beautiful, xmas tunes out there that really capture the essence of it all, the sadness and the beauty in Christmas, and I wanted to attempt to do that, to hark back to classic, traditional songwriting, but sing about a world that today’s listener could relate to.

Carmody

‘It’s Always Christmas’ is a different take on the traditional, lively, festive Christmas song. How would you describe the track and its story?

‘It’s Always Christmas’ is predominantly about winter bringing you back to someone you used to love. I always find different seasons remind me of particular people and winter is always a killer. I wrote it with Hugh Worskett and we talked about how much sadness there is at Christmas, it brings out this yearning in you that you just don’t feel the rest of the year. We also wanted to talk about things that had affected us like the refugee crisis, struggling to live in a city made of money and being part of the lost generation, but also reference some of our favourite traditional Christmas songs. It became an amalgamation of all these ideas.

I used to have a boss who would cry every time ‘Fairytale of New York’ played, we used to work hard to stop it playing in the shop over the festive period, I was so taken aback by how much it could affect her. But now I really do hear all the sadness she heard that lies just beneath a lot of these records, I wanted to explore that in the chorus and bring out all these contradictory feelings I have during the festivities.

You will be supporting Eliza Shaddad at her shows in Europe mid-December. Where are you most excited to perform and explore?

Definitely Switzerland, I’ve never been there, so I’m looking forward to playing there for the first time and I’ve heard great things.

You’ve collaborated with Tom Misch previously. How did you meet and have you got any plans to work together again?

Tom’s family and my family live on the same road, it’s a really nice community of musicians in the South East. I was working with a producer at the time who said it would be good to work with Tom on some of my songs, in the end those tracks didn’t actually come out, but through that meeting we started writing together and ‘Last Song’ was born and released almost straight away, funny how things work out like that. And yes, we’ve been writing a song for my project together that should be out next year and possibly a few other things too.

Minus Tom, who is your dream collaboration?

Joni Mitchell, she is the dream.

What can we expect from you in the future? Do you have any big plans for 2019?

I’m working on a concept record about my family. It’s pretty dark, it’s about what we make from the wreckage of things, it’s going to be called ‘Flotsam’ I think.

‘It’s Always Christmas’ is out now via Young Poet Records.

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Featured images by Marlan Henry

Q&A: Carmody
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