s. carey

we caught up with s. carey for an intimate interview

  • question: We are loving your song “Where I Was.” Can you tell us a little about the backstory of the song? When was it written and recorded?
  • answer: “Where I Was” was one of the last songs to come together on Break Me Open. It was created using a sequence that my friend and ambient artist, Taylor Deupree, sent to me. That’s the pretty sounding floating rhythmic bed the song sits on top of. The song actually had a few iterations, one that was bigger sounding and epic, but we settled on stripping it back to less is more, which actually suits it better. I love how bare it is. Cinematic almost. The effect on the vocal makes it sit in the landscape, a character on its own. Lyrically, like a few other songs on record, deals with me coming to grips with my divorce. A lost love that hangs in the ether, floating away somewhere. A broken heart. The self-reflection that comes from that experience.
  • question: What did the recording process for your latest album ‘Break Me Open’ consist of? What was the collaboration process like?
  • answer: ‘Break Me Open’ consists of songs that came from very recent and fresh ideas, but also some that were initial ideas from 6 years ago. I like to really take my time with records and songs so it can take years for concepts to come together or songs to find their home. From a songwriting perspective this was my most collaborative to date, but also lyrically and conceptually my most personal and vulnerable, so that’s an interesting dichotomy. Collaborative in the sense that many of the songs were written using other people’s “demos” or ideas as a starting place and taking them in my own direction (ie “Sunshower,” “Island,” “Waking Up,” “Paralyzed,” Starless,” “Where I Was”). We did a few sessions with the band, but most of the record I worked on at home by myself. When it got closer to the finish line, I went with producer/engineers Zach Hanson and Chris Messina to Northern California and we spent 9 days finishing up the tracking, editing, shaping, bringing it to the next level.
  • question: What is it like being a part of Bon Iver? If you could be any band ever, which band would you be in?
  • answer: Being in Bon Iver has been such a fun ride. Not only has it introduced me to some many amazing musicians and people, it has also allowed me to see the world and travel, and has shaped me as a musician and artist immensely. I feel very grateful to have had so many incredible experiences. If there was one other band that I would just be thrilled to be around, play with, talk with, be a fly on the wall during rehearsal, etc.. it would be Radiohead.
  • question: What does your nightly routine consist of? Which city do you reside in and what’s your favorite thing about it?
  • answer: I live in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. It’s a small town with not much going on, which is why I like it. It’s close to nature, woods, streams, rivers, lakes – so many options if you’re into that stuff (which I most definitely am). I’d say my nightly routine is pretty boring! Putting the kids to bed, maybe drinking a glass or 2 of wine, watching football? Sometimes, actually, writing lyrics at night can work. There is something about the dark and the quiet (and the wine) that gets juices flowing, but that isn’t too often.
  • question: Which three albums would be your desert island picks? Do you have an ultimate goal for S. Carey?
  • answer: Ultimate Goal for S. Carey is to just keep making records I’m proud of. I really value full and cohesive records. I also love when records have different vibes or characters and that the artist evolves so I guess I’m just chasing that. Desert Island Picks: (this is impossible)…but… 1. Radiohead ‘Kid A’ 2. U2 ‘Joshua Tree’ 3. Tom Waits ‘Mule Variations’.

we happen to love u2’s ‘joshua tree’ as a desert island pick, and we want to say thank you for the interview

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