Laura-Mary Carter “Town Called Nothing”

Velveteen Records, 2022

First solo recording for one half of long-term rockers Red Shoes.

After 17 years touring the world as one half of rock duo Red Shoes Laura-Mary Carter has finally dipped her toes into the world of the solo artist with the release of the six-track mini-album ‘Town Called Nothing’. Although described as a more yearning, mournful and introspective side of the artist, the album has Carter retaining enough elements of her rock background to appeal to her established fanbase despite the swerve here in the direction of Americana.

Carter is a self-confessed fidget in the biggest sense of the word. Constantly on the move, searching for new inspiration, often inspired by an annual tarot card reading. It was a reading while Carter was in LA that prompted a venture into Arizona and formed the inspiration for these songs. The title track itself was actually written in an hour during her time in LA and it was only after the song was completed and she had had that reading that her direction of travel identified an actual abandoned town in Arizona called – Nothing. It was, in Carter’s own words, “literally fate.”

That title track is a vibrant, bouncy piece of pop-Americana with Carter reigning in her normal guitar shredding instincts. The song sits alongside opener ‘Blue Is Not My Colour’ as the most obvious nods to an Americana audience. Both songs have an upbeat feel to them; radio friendly, not sparse in any sense of the word but they have a melody and restraint that allows Carter’s vocals to be the dominant force in a way that isn’t always the case elsewhere on the album.

There a is a big sound attached to the other tracks. Although the quality of Carter’s vocals is a constant in the quieter verses it is the rhythm and volume of Jorma Vik’s drums that propel these songs much more in the direction of her rock background. It is not the pace of the songs that steer them in that direction, rather the fact that Carter can’t hold back on that big guitar sound even where the tempo is an unhurried one. Combine the resounding echoes that are attached to the vocals with those driven drums and Carter’s own instincts as a guitarist then that ‘big sound’ is the result.

This first foray into the solo market has, then, a definite split in styles which makes it hard to determine the album’s appeal beyond those who are already firmly embedded in the Red Shoes camp.

6/10
6/10

About Peter Churchill 129 Articles
Lover of intelligent singer-songwriters; a little bit country; a little bit folk; a little bit Americana. Perfect Day - early morning round of golf, afternoon at Dean Court watching AFC Bournemouth, evening gig at a cosy smallish venue with a pint and a packet of scratchings.

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