Written by Aleisha Mclaren
Written by Monica Sottile
Photographs by Seamus Platt
Carla Geneve’s self-titled debut EP was released just over a month ago on the 7th of June and it has changed my life. The songs and the emotion in this body of work are incredible and I think it’s going to be one of my favourite collections of songs for a long time.
The fact that Geneve is such an incredible guitar player, lyricist and singer honestly leaves me speechless. These songs tell of such strong, deep emotion it’s easy to believe that songwriting is just a part of daily life for the young artist out of Fremantle, WA. Although this is a cliché, this EP took me on a journey and it is so immersive that I’ve had to leave it on repeat to feel and re-feel every part of this work that come together to create a wrenching, heartfelt story.
There is a very personal level of introspection and conversational lyricism in this EP, and it feels like Carla has written the mundane into the magnificent. The heartbreak or pain is palpable in the opening track ‘Empty Stomach,’ and there is a feeling of acceptance and tongue-in-cheek cynicism in the following track ‘Things Change.’ ‘2001’ was the first 2019 release for the artist, and stands to be a beautiful ode to being hung-over, feeling delicate, and needing to escape into something comforting, like 2001’s Space Odyssey.
‘Yesterday’s Clothes’ has probably the best guitar line in the history of music, sorry everyone, and seems to mirror so many of my own thoughts and concerns in such a simple and direct way. I can’t place what ‘Juliette’ might be about, but it seems to speak of conflict and resentment in the most wrenching and beautiful way. ‘I Hate You (For Making Me Not Want To Leave The City)’ is maybe my favourite song on the EP, even though I love them all. The story and imagery in this song is so beautiful I feel like I’m going to cry at any point during the song (of nostalgia and happiness). What an incredible EP, please do yourself a favour and listen to it.
I gave Carla a call a few days before the EP was released and she headed over to America to start her tour in the states.
I’ve read a few interviews that you’ve done in the past, and have seen that you read books and watch movies as a form of escapism, so I wanted to ask what does song-writing mean to you – how does it function in your life?
I always find these questions hard because whenever I say something it sounds so wanky laughs, but I don’t know I guess I’ve always written songs, since I was a kid. It’s become part of my routine now and it would feel weird not to write songs. I guess I’m not the most open person, so it’s a good outlet for me and my expression.
How does it feel to be signed to Dot Dash for your EP release?
I’m so excited, I feel really really lucky to be part of that label. Some of the artists on Dot Dash are my favourite, it’s very cool and humbling.
What’s your favourite song on the EP and why?
Ummm, I think it would probably have to be the last one (I Hate You (For Making Me Not Want To Leave The City)). It’s like, really old. Usually you get sick of songs but I was really happy with it and I guess it reminds me of that period of time, which is good.
I was going to ask, I don’t know if it’s the same, but people always seem to think that the Brisbane music scene is detached and isolated, which I don’t think is true. But I was wondering if there are any misconceptions like that about the music scene in Fremantle and Perth that you find to be untrue.
People always go from that angle ‘oh wow it’s so isolated in Perth,’ but I think to an extent it is actually true. To a certain extent it’s true I guess because to be able to tour and stuff, it’s just so expensive. But I guess in the end it’s still a music scene, it’s nothing crazy small. A guy called me from America the other day and was like ‘wow it must be so isolated, how many people are where you live? A thousand?’ and just had no idea what it was like at all, but it’s just a city – and for me, coming from the country, everything’s a city when you first come up as well. I thought Perth was the biggest place ever, but it’s really not.
What was your favourite movie as a child, and what’s your favourite movie now?
Ooh, that’s a good one…I think when I was a little kid my favourite movie was like the original King Kong, which is pretty rogue. I should re-watch that I haven’t watched it in so long. It’s black and white, very old and kinda hard to find. I don’t know why, I just loved it. I’ve always loved sci-fi and stuff like that. But now, that’s a really hard one. I really want to think about it. I want to say…oh I don’t know. I watched Jaws last night. Actually, there’s a worse verison of Jaws called Deep Blue Sea. Let’s go with that one *laughs* - lock that one in.
My favourite movie as a kid was Beetlejuice, I always wanted to watch it.
Oh my gosh, yes, Beetlejuice! We had that on DVD when I was a kid as well.
In that vein, I was also going to ask who your favourite author is, or what your favourite genre of book to read is?
I would usually say my favourite author is Cormac McCarthy, who wrote the road. That’s kind of in like the sci-fi vibe I guess. He does a lot of Westerns as well, which I’ve been reading lately.
Sci-fi and Westerns go hand in hand.
Yeah, they really do! Yeah so I’d probably say him. I mention Jack Vance in one of my songs - I really love him as well.
Do you have a favourite book by them?
I love ‘The Road’ (by Cormac McCarthy), it’s my favourite book of all time. I used to say that ‘The Old Man in the Seat’ was my favourite book as well, by Hemmingway. I dunno, I haven’t really had time to read books lately.
Yeah you’ve been busy! And you’re about to tour a lot. I read that you’re going to travel around America in a van – that will be so much fun! What are you most excited for when you’re over there?
Yeah, in a bus. It should be really fun. Umm, I’m pretty excited to eat! And I’m really excited to go to New York because I’ve always wanted to go – and excited for the show – that goes without saying.
What star sign are you and do you care?
*Laughs* I’m a Sagittarius and I don’t give a shit. But it’s kinda fun I guess.
What are your favourite releases of the last 12 months?
That’s a hard one because I’m trying to figure out which ones are from the last 12 months. I’ve listened to heaps of RAT!Hammock, they’re so so good. I don’t know what they released in the last 12 months, but I’ve been listening to them a lot. I think my favourite song is ‘Love You Till I Die.’ The writing is next level, I love it. I’ve been listening to a heap of Jacob Diamond, he’s a guy from Perth. I think he released an album in the last 12 months, but he released an EP, called ‘Um,’ and it’s really beautiful.