Review : Laura-Mary Carter – Town Called Nothing EP (2021)

Laura-Mary Carter is best known as one half of alternative rock duo Blood Red Shoes. She has just released her solo debut EP ‘Town Called Nothing’ with songs that tell a story of love, desolation, and abandonment.

This extended play opens with `Blue’s Not My Colour` and it`s a delightfully mesmeric slice of alt/country with a tapped drum rim leading us through and vocals that are wonderfully dreamy.

It`s a number that is about wanting an uncomplicated relationship. There`s a much more ethereal feel to `Signs` which has a captivating uneasy foundation with synth undertones allowing the vocals full reign to almost float in, over and around.

There`s an interesting backstory to title track `Town Called Nothing`. Laura-Mary shares “After writing this song I discovered that there was a real abandoned town in Arizona, named Nothing, with a population of two people. I immediately decided that I had to go there. I packed up my bags, hired a car and drove to Arizona. I fell in love with it upon arrival and have since returned many times”. It`s a sort of mid paced country tinged composition with strummed guitar, shook tambourine and some sublime almost resonating guitar chords. We have a quite delicate and exquisite offering with `Better On My Own` which seems to relate to the possible acceptance of one`s inability to maintain a relationship. It has a quite hypnotic drum beat at heart and vocals that are shared in a quite languid manner adding to the overall ambience of the piece. We have a kind of musical cacophony of sounds at the half way mark before it returns to its former stride.   

`The City We Live` is another dreamlike submission which appears to relay a tale of what seems like an uncomfortable nigh on unreciprocated longed for relationship. The cello swathes added to the overall peculiarity of the piece. We close out with `Ceremony` another song that seems to have dark undertones. I read somewhere that the singer has expressed that “The song is about my career. It’s about being in debt to someone and trying to break free. It’s about the feeling of not having a choice but to make music because that’s who I am but that sometimes comes with a price or with massive sacrifices. It’s about making peace with the choices and decisions I have made over the years and moving forward.” A number that is lyrically uneasy but also has an alluringly curious musical texture with a sort of spellbinding rolling drumbeat and the singer`s vocals distantly shared.

‘Town Called Nothing’ is a delight and Laura-Mary Carter has used the talents of Ed Harcourt on bass and piano, plus Jorma Vik on drums to bring her visions to life. This six track extended play is quite intense at times but so worth the time invested to listen. A word of warning, don`t come here expecting any of the blistering guitar-shredding riffs associated with Blood Red Shoes as this is purely a Laura-Mary Carter solo offering but is none the less overwhelming and enthralling for that.

Rating 9/10