Lo Carmen talks Lovers Dreamers Fighters
Los Angeles based singer-songwriter Lo Carmen has just dropped her new single, Sometimes It’s Hard, off her upcoming album, Lovers Dreamers Fighters. We had a chat with her and also asked her to put together a ‘Sometimes It’s Hard’ playlist for us:
Hey Lo! How are things with you? Where are you at the moment?
I’m currently living in LA, wishing I had more friends with swimming pools… but right now I’m in Sooke, BC which is outrageously pretty and full of deer and seals and bunny rabbits, a bit like slipping into an old Disney movie!
Nice! You’ve got a new record coming out. What can you tell us about it?
Ever since I serendipitously ended up recording my bare bones solo EP ‘The Peach State’ with David ‘Ferg’ Ferguson (the engineer behind Johnny Cash’s American Recordings and Sturgill Simpson’s A Sailor’s Guide To Earth) at his Butcher Shoppe Studio in Nashville, some years ago, I was determined to somehow return and cut a full length album with him and a bunch of those brilliant Nashville cats that lend their jaw dropping talents to lucky hacks all round town.
I found myself with a whole lot of time alone at night and so I wrote a lot of songs on porches in the Georgia dark mainly.
I polished and practiced and panicked and plotted until I was ready to lay it all on the line and then I just threw myself in the deep end. It’s an album full of all kinds of love songs, pedal steel, violins and beautiful backing vocalists that sound like I found them reclining in a back room after finishing a Leonard Cohen album.
Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy appears on your new single! That’s amazing! How did the collaboration come about?
Its hard to explain so I will just call it ‘Nashville magic’. He is my favourite troubadour, so many brilliant albums, endlessly fascinating and inspiring and although I wrote the song with my darling husband (who actually doesn’t recall doing this), I always imagined crooning it with the Bonnie Prince. I’m still in shock and awe that it happened!
And there are lots of other noteworthy appearances too. Can you tell us about them?
My buddy and fellow Australian devotee of sad country music, Miss Emma Swift, contributes exquisite BVs. Dave Roe, who played bass with Johnny Cash for 18 years and now records with Dan Auerbach, Sturgill Simpson etc, plays beautiful, subtle double bass which really shaped the sound and he brought in some great players with him. Dreamy pedal steel and guitar legend Russ Pahl is always in hot demand and appears on recent albums by Nikki Lane, Tyler Childers, Robyn Hitchcock, Blake Shelton, Ray La Montagne, Lana Del Ray and the list goes on and on…. All of the players brought something unique and special to the recording, Ferg and the Butcher Shoppe just have a way of bringing the right people together to really bring the songs to life in the best possible ways.
What’s the thinking behind the album’s title… Lovers Dreamers Fighters?
The words just started appearing like flickering neon in my mind and eventually I realized it had to be the title of the album.
I guess it sums us up as human beings, those that aren’t on the evil side anyway, we’re all just trying to love the best we can, fighting for our dreams and hopes, plotting and planning for a future of some kind, hopefully one that includes slow dancing, trees and moonlit nights.
Will you be playing any live shows to support the album’s release?
I sincerely hope to be touring it next year, in Australia and the US.
You can pre-order Lo’s album on vinyl here: https://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/locarmenmusic. In the meantime, check out her especially curated playlist.
Keep up to date with Lo on Facebook.
Interview by Bobby Townsend.