Claudia Combs Carty’s voice will stop you in your tracks, begging you not to just listen, but to hear her words, deep in your soul. With longing, yearning piano and melancholy guitar, her brand new single, “Sing For Me,” compels repeat listens. A new album is forthcoming later this month, and Carty’s music is a comfort, a reminder that we’re not alone in the great big world. Vents Magazine is pleased to premiere the stunning “Sing For Me” today, and we sat down recently to talk with Carty about the song. Listen and read.
What prompted you to write this song? What was the inspiration behind it?
I wrote this song at the end of winter, beginning of the spring in Boston when I was 26. If you’ve ever lived on the East Coast, you know about seasonal depression, and that would hit me pretty hard each year. Growing up and in my 20s, the months when the sun started creeping back in were always a time of hope, change, and reflection. There was a window over my piano that had a great red pine tree with birds always singing and jumping around in it, and when I think about writing this song, I think of them. I had been involved in a complicated dance with a guy, the back and forth, hot and cold thing we all experience at some point. I wrote this song as I was feeling the end of reaching out my rope to him. It was either open up or I’m out. He played guitar and sang for me sometimes, and it was those times that I felt that he was the clearest and most open.
How did this song come together when you wrote it? What was the songwriting process like?
This was one of those songs that happened all at once. Everything came out one day when I was really bummed and overwhelmed with the situation. I recorded it on my iPhone, and the birds were singing over me. I still really like that version. A few of the embellishing melodies were inspired and developed in collaboration with Stephen Konrads when we were jamming at Starlab spaces in Somerville, MA. I don’t know if that place is still there, but I hope so. We would play this song, and his guitar licks came out, and it really changed it into this Americana, folky vibe that I immediately wanted harmonies and electric all over.
When you recorded this song, what kind of vibe were you going for? Did it end up sounding like you expected it to or did it come out different from what you thought it would be?
This song was unexpected in so many ways. First of all, we didn’t plan to record it at all, but when we had a lot of extra time in the studio the first time we were in there, I just ran through most of my songs, one take each, just to have them, and this happened. I hadn’t played the song in years, so I’m amazed I remembered all the lyrics and all that. Listening to it later, I think Avi Vinocur (my producer) heard something in it that he wanted to tackle, and I’m so glad he did because it turned into one of my favorite tracks. The vibes from the days of the birds in the window are all there, just amped up a bit.
How do you think this song fits into the album overall?
This song fits well with the album. It is more embellished than most of the other songs, but I don’t think it’s too far off from the piano/voice simplicity and energy the rest of the album gives off. I think the genre is a little different from the rest of the record, also like the track “South,” but I really dig it because it shows a different side of my songwriting and spices up the feel of the album as a whole.
Artist website: https://claudiacombscarty.com/