Few people know that Berlin-based singer Laura Carbone has got some real-deal connections with Mainz. It is in this city where she’d rehearse with her band and team up with former Mainzer Kevin (Melody Connor) who, not only played the bass for Laura Carbone‘s band until recently, but also ate tons of Pizza Sicilianas with her at local Pizza Pepe. A few weeks back Laura has reconnected with Mainz and Fauves to add a couple of details to the magazine’s post about her new album “Empty Sea” (2018).
Together with the talented Jan Sydow (guitar, Wiesbaden), Christoph Schnell (drums, Mannheim), Kevin Potschien (bass, Mainz), Johannes Juschzak (drums, Mainz/Berlin) and Christian Bethge (recordings), Laura Carbone has created a heavy, raw and punk/garage-rock infused rock n’roll sound coupled with bluesy ballads that take us on a long, gloomy journey through the sorrows of the night to fight inner crisis and fears.
The opening track “Grace” gets right to the point: “Hold it on fire / Feel pain and desire” and from then on, the album sets off for a rollercoaster ride with a f*** it or fight it attitude. The slow-simmering guitar-sounds of “Cellophane Skin” transfer the nervy and fearless mood of the whole album to the listener who can sense the sound to break out vigorously. It is with the title song “Empty Sea” when things become somewhat gothic and dreamy again. “I’m ready to fall” Laura Carbone sings, “But tonight / I am finally free” and it feels like standing in the middle of an empty fair, drifting through the night and solely listening to the barrel organ-like sounds in the back.
The mysterious and fairytale atmosphere of the album might be due to Laura’s inspiration from German Brothers Grimm fairytale The True Bride in which a kidnapped princess must empty a lake with a spoon full of holes. “There were moments when I really doubted myself as I had some blocks”, Laura explains when talking about writing her album, “retreating to LA to write really gave me the courage to get the album together, the experience of overcoming doubt made me think about the girl with the spoon”.
Just as nerv-ranking as emptying out a lake full of holes with a single spoon, it feels like the tension of the album was building up to mid-song “Crisis”. The track’s adrenalised energy clearly indicates an eventual full commitment to fighting off all demons of the past. “Tangerine Tree” calms things down for a bit, if only just temporarily, as Laura explains: “To me this song is like a vivid dream inviting you to dive in and float in it for a while. It gives the comfort of a familiar feelings that keep on visiting you once in a while in sleep. It’s a temporary feeling – you’ll let yourself fall for a moment but you know it’s just a dream – it’ll be over in a bit and that’s fine”. Sleep is when one can process all the fuss of the day and it is the last song “Lullaby” that sets us off for a peaceful night and beautiful dreams by an empty but calm sea.
The album stands for life with all its ups and downs. We can fade and drift away into dreams but when it really matters, you got to play by your instinct and fight your problems when you feel the right moment has showed up. The track “Nightride” tells us to keep on going, “the river flows / leads to the place / where wild roses grow”. “There will always be fall-backs”, Laura says, “but in the end, we got to take on things that we’ve usually struggled to find a solution for”.
Foto: Laura Carbone Press