BlackBook Premiere: Berlin Songstress Laura Carbone’s ‘Cellophane Skin’ is the Sonic Catharsis We Need Right Now
Photo by Thomas von der Heiden
Much as we’ve appreciated all the music that has brought us comfort over these often terrifying nine months of pandemic lockdown, we did think it might also be helpful for someone to crank out something that sounds like we actually feel right now.
And fortuitously, dark hearted Berlin songstress Laura Carbone delivers a new album today that is precisely the catharsis we need as coronavirus cases once again skyrocket and fear escalates all around us. Pithily titled Laura Carbone – Live at Rockpalast, it was actually the result of the recording of her third studio record being shelved due to the quarantines. The long-running German television show on the title, which has featured everyone from The Who to The xx, hosted Carbone for a 2019 session, and then agreed to let her release it as an album.
BlackBook premieres here the video for the particularly fierce track ‘Cellophane Skin,’ which has a decidedly feminist bent. Her band makes a glorious art-noise racket, coming on like some unsettling offspring of The Birthday Party and Teenage Jesus & the Jerks – while Fraulein Carbone sound for everything like a next generation PJ Harvey (specifically, shades of ‘Sheela-Na-Gig’).
The video’s director Olya Dyer enthuses about the opportunity to create dark and beautiful sequences, inspired by noir surrealism.
“The feminine point of view has always been much more difficult to articulate,” she observes. “And once articulated, alas, quite often it becomes a point of vulnerability, seen through the prism of sexual objectification, helpless stereotypes and indecency. It’s literally stripped of its actual meaning or even possible interpretations. To me, this is what ‘Cellophane Skin’ is about. People jump to conclusions, so quick to assume that they can see through someone. Personally it doesn’t offend me, I only find it banal and boring. I love creating with Laura. Is this what you see?”
Yes, we do.