Blood Red Shoes’ Laura-Mary Carter has finally decided to take the limelight under her own name, delivering debut solo mini-album ‘Town Called Nothing’. We asked her to tell us everything we needed to know about it.
I wrote and recorded this record all over the place because I can never really stay in one place at a time.
The title-track, 'Town Called Nothing', was the first song I wrote one evening in Los Angeles. I was subletting a friend's studio for a while, and there was this beaten-up guitar in the corner where the strings were so far off the fret I could only play really standard chords, which is not really my style. The song just kinda happened, a bit like it came from the universe and wrote itself. It has this Americana feel, and I was singing differently, then the words just came out: "A town called Nothing". After I finished the song, I Googled "Nothing" just in case there was a place, and right there, I saw Nothing Arizona! I immediately went, and all that's there is a rickety old sign and some rundown buildings. I camped out there a few times to try to find the two people who are allegedly living there, but I have yet to meet them.
The front cover photo was taken over lockdown in London on Billionaires row, where all these mansions are just left to go derelict. My boyfriend and I drove down bored one day and broke through a fence into the grounds of a mansion, and there was this outhouse shed full of crap, and he took the picture right there. You can see the sky through the holes in the roof. I felt it summed up the record because even though I wrote most of it in the States and it has an Americana feel. I grew up in London, and it proves you can find a ghost town no matter where you are.
I wrote a lot of these songs quite a few years ago, but I just wasn't able to release them because I was busy playing with my band Blood Red Shoes, and then Covid happened, and no one was putting any records out for a while.
I have two very different sides of me; I love really heavy rock music, and then the other side loves stuff like Elliott Smith, where the words really tell a story.
Along with this release, there are photos that visually soundtrack this record. I am really into photography. I would say it's my second biggest passion after music. I spent four years travelling around the States, taking photos of stuff that maybe other people would just think of as ugly. I realised I like places that are run down and mysterious and random, and I think there are lots of parallels in my songs. I sing a lot about abandonment and the fear of being alone; you can be in a place with loads of people but yet still feel lonely.
I am releasing this record on vinyl, CD and tape on my own label Jazz Life that I co-run with my bandmate Steven from Blood Red Shoes. We have released other artists such as Circe, Queen Kwong, Tigercub, Marthagunn and Jackridesthesky. The name Jazz Llife comes from essentially a tour joke about how every day you just never know what is gonna happen, and you are just living life like the Crystal Maze or something.
I am known for playing electric guitar. In 2019 I was voted best alternative guitarist in the world today on Music Radar, so with this solo project, it was quite different for me to have my voice as the focal point and not play my usual way.
I really strive to not be one dimensional with music and experiment out of my comfort zone; I think people like Beck are a good example of how you can try different things and mix genres but still sound like you.
Taken from the December 2021 / January 2022 issue of Upset. Laura-Mary Carter's debut solo album 'Town Called Nothing' is out 3rd December.
Featuring Måneskin, Mayday Parade, Yard Act, Volumes and more.