Laura Carbone‘s latest, Empty Sea, is out now and spotlights the acclaimed singer’s knack for creating dark, emotionally charged music that is at times reminiscent of Mazzy Star at its most ethereal but which packs an emotional punch that is all its own. “Grace” marches and charges in all the right ways, rising to an emotional climax that a lesser artist would have allowed to become a wash of noise. Carbone instead leaves strong definition between her voices and the wall of distorted guitars and crashing bass. The impact is immeasurable, potent.
Elsewhere on the record there’s a danger that lurks: post-punk never sounded as charged or bold as “Cellophane Skin”, goth never as disturbing as “Nightride” and noise never as noisy as “Crisis”. Comparisons to My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth and Patti Smith seem inevitable but each seems incapable of fully capturing the urgency and originality of what Carbone offers on Empty Sea, a highly expressive and deeply moving listening experience that speaks to the frustrations of the now and of all time.