Friday 9 November 2012 at 8:00pm
Café du Nord
2170 Market Street, San Francisco, 94114, United States
Carina Round has carved a singular path in music with her inimitable voice and stirringly varied compositions. Her uncompromising vision and thrilling versatility has garnered an immensely passionate fan base including a myriad of highly regarded musicians. Her forthcoming album ‘Tigermending’ comes from a painting by Amy Cutler where three women sit in a field dutifully stitching the bellies of a heap of helpless Tigers. Carina recounts, “The first time I saw the painting I stared at it for a long time not understanding why. The absurd image absorbed me. There was an innocent simplicity to it. The gentle putting back together of something most ferocious and wild mysteriously damaged to the point of submission. I felt an affinity to it.”
The new album was released in North America on May 1st 2012 and is scheduled to be released on September 10th for the rest of the world through her label Dehisce* which is distributed through The Orchard and Cargo Records. Produced with Grammy nominated writer Dan Burns, Carina collaborated with some notable champions including the legendary Dave Stewart, Brian Eno, and Smashing Pumpkins’ front man Billy Corgan. She released ‘The Last Time’ single featuring Sierra Swan along with a Puscifer remix of ‘Girl and the Ghost' on Limited Edition 7” Vinyl at the end of last year.
"Making my home in the creative circus of Los Angeles has allowed me the profound opportunity to develop a loving and supportive community of brilliant musicians, artists, photographers, videographers and other collaborators. I’ve been fortunate to work with and learn from some of my favorite artists old and new, which has opened me up to new roads of expression. Also I’ve had time and freedom to experiment and explore, especially without the pressure or constraints of a label. Every song in its own way is speaking of really different things. There’s guitar ragers, acoustic beauties, electronic epics, a little prog moment and all the good stuff in between but there’s a strong backbone running through the whole record."
Haling from England, Carina had an innate determination and passion for music from an early age, which led her to record and self-release her first two albums, ‘First Blood Mystery’ and ‘The Disconnection’. The former shaped by erratic yet engaging sounds drawing from her love of legends Patti Smith, Tom Waits and Jeff Buckley. The latter took those influences into much more powerful and personal realms.
These two albums led to her being signed by Interscope Records, who re-released ‘The Disconnection’ album in 2004. This brought Carina US bound to Los Angeles where she recorded her bewitching and seductive album ‘Slow Motion Addict’ with acclaimed producer Glen Ballard. Accompanying this release in 2007 was a unique 12-part episodic series that cleverly coincided with each track, creating a visual story for the album. In this film Carina starred as the troubled lead character, Maisie Scarlett.
A couple years later, after parting ways with Interscope, Carina toured with Annie Lennox and self-released her ethereal and nakedly confessional EP ‘Things You Should Know’, which resulted in considerable success. Her new songs were featured in numerous film & TV shows and multiple radio stations, including KCRW, championed her music. Carina became a touring member of Puscifer, Tool’s Maynard James Keenan’s band, worked on their latest album ‘Conditions of My Parole’, and began opening the live shows.
Opportunities began to arise to work with other artists Carina admires, including singing on The Twilight Singers album ‘Dynamite Steps’, working with the award winning composers John Debney and Glen Ballard on a song composed for the film ‘Valentine’s Day’, writing with Academy Award winner Marco Beltrami, as well as finishing up an album with her Alt-Country side project Early Winters, which was self-released earlier in the year. The Early Winters’ track ‘Count Me In’ will be featured in the upcoming Warner Brothers film ‘The Lucky Ones’ in April and Carina’s song ‘For Everything A Reason’ will be in the upcoming film ‘Dark Hearts’ later in the year. TV and film placements include American Horror Story, Pretty Little Liars, Dollhouse, as well as many more.
Rosi Golan didn’t so much choose to be a songwriter as much as it took her over. In many ways, Golan’s songwriting can most closely be likened to a storm, or a weather system that has come and stayed for the last decade of her life. In the years since this weather system has entered her life, it’s changed significantly – gaining elements and force as it travels across the topography of her emotional life. This weather system has reached its most lovely expression on Golan’s sophomore album, Lead Balloon, the culmination of two years, organized around the pain and joy contained within that space.
Unlike most, Golan didn’t dream of live shows and lyrics. At the age of 19, Golan found herself rudderless and unsure, reeling from the simultaneous experiences of both personal and communal tragedy. “My grandmother passed away, and it was not long after September 11th. I was trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life,” Golan explains. “I was having this thought while I was in a car – and a commercial came on for a guitar store.” Shortly thereafter, Golan found herself there, and, never having played before, purchased a guitar for the self-admitted worst reason ever: “I liked the color,” she laughs. It shouldn’t have worked out, but it has.
In the years since that fateful radio tuning, Golan has worked to refine and calibrate her sound, collecting new elements and shaping it in the places she finds herself. The Drifter & The Gypsy, Golan’s first album, generated several songs that were prominently featured on numerous television shows (including One Tree Hill and Private Practice) and in film (Dear John). Golan embarked on a series of tours on the strength of Drifter that sent the Israeli-born Golan traipsing the globe. Lead Balloon was written on breaks from tours over the past two years, Golan can hear the spaces the songs took shape in – there is the bone-damp of London, the constant buzz of Brooklyn, the arid wind of Los Angeles. Building on the success of the friendships that lead to her well-received debut, Golan continued working with many of the songwriters she co-wrote that album with. “Everyone who I co-wrote with has become like family,” says Golan. “Generally, the group of people I write with are people who I have a relationship with, who I keep in touch with. We spend time together outside of writing music together.” The emotional shorthand shared in the context of her friendships imbues the tracks with a warm ease, even if the subject matter lacks it.
If the relationships were what Golan wanted to carry forward on this record, its production was another matter. “I wanted to throw in some wrenches,” says Golan. “And I think those wrenches were thrown by Tony Berg.” Golan credits her producer with reframing her approach to making music. “Every song was its own entity. The only thing that glued the record together was my voice, and maybe the constant of an acoustic guitar.” With no strict structure to the sound of the album, Golan was freed to interpret each song as it came to her, rather than concerning herself as to whether it kept to an overall sound. As a result, the album moves fluidly between genres, containing songs steeped in Americana, clever pop currents running throughout, and thoughtful folk.
As much as Golan may have been working without a conscious idea, in retrospect she realizes there was some governing order to Lead Balloon. It wasn’t until Golan was finished that she realized the polarities contained on the album. If “Lead Balloon” serves as the album’s mission statement, album opener “Paper Tiger” is its contrast, a honey-vocalled kiss-off that chugs along to resolution through strings, triangles and a xylophone. In contrast, the gorgeous “Lead Balloon” borrows from the best of country music, with Golan harmonizing with a mournful lap steel buoyed by its steady beat. “That song came from a bad day I was having,” says Golan. Fortuitously, she was due to meet with co-writer and friend Natalie Hemby. “When we came up with the title ‘lead balloon,’ I thought no matter what happens, I’m pretty sure that’s going to be the title of the record.” The quietly stirring “Everything Is Brilliant” is a series of recollections, followed by its refrain, which serves as both a statement of fact and a wish.
In keeping with the twin polarities Golan sees on the record, there is as much joy on the record as there is pain, and with the output of loss, there is the input of hope. When asked whether the emotional depths reached on this record are ever difficult to plumb or painful, Golan explains that in the writing, there is catharsis. “Once you write the song and put it on the record, you put them out there and let them become somebody else’s. I’m going to see it to its completion, and I’ll send it off, and let it find somebody else.”