Photo Credit: Album Cover by Tammie Valer - @ojodeloba // Marketing Photo by Mike Anderson aka @msa_photography
Brenda Carsey is a woman of many hats. LA locals may know her as the brainchild of Wonder & Awe Productions, a music production & event company that showcases up and coming local acts through live shows, music video festivals, and more. You also might recognize her as the lively and dedicated host at the Tuesday night open mics at Highland Park Bowl (pre-pandemic of course). But, behind the hustle, bustle, and hard work is a talented and soulful artist that puts her heart into not only every event she produces, but her music. Above it all, she is an artist.
No stranger to the stage, Carsey, a Los Angeles-based vocalist, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer, has played at the notorious Lighting In a Bottle Festival (opening for The California Honeydrops and Orgone), toured the U.S. from coast to coast, grooved and swooned the stages of LA’s local favorite hotspots The Teragram Ballroom, The Hotel Cafe, The Bootleg Theater, The Moroccan Lounge, The Satellite, Harvard & Stone (and more) and has opened for Daniel Lanois and Lantz Lazwell at the Feed LA Festival. She has also rocked LA’s mini SXSW-esk Festival in Echo Park amply titled “Echo Park Rising” five years in a row.
Known for playing with up to a 9-piece band, Carsey sets fire to the stage with her carefully thought out backing instrumentals, 3-part harmonies, and vocal electricity. If you love her live show, just wait until you hear her newest album Sirens (co-produced by Brenda Carsey and Nicholas Tashjian, engineered/mixed by Nicholas Tashjian at SAE Institute, Moosecat Studios, and at Tashjian’s home studio, and Mastered by Brian Frederick of Hybrid Studios).Carsey brings that same amount of soul to the studio as she does to her live performances. Her 6th studio album is a sonic and visual journey navigating the balance between softness and power, painted with melodic sweetness, passion, and longing. It is obvious throughout the album that Carsey has experienced a great amount of emotional healing in her lifetime and has come out the other side a strong, ferocious warrior.
The opening track “Wasted”, though stripped down to only guitar, keyboard, lead vocals, and harmonies, stands on its own and exudes empowerment. Although Brenda states that these “songs are subjects of memories past that I have long since moved on from”, they are, in fact, relatable at any phase of life for those who are/have experienced toxic relationships or situations. Track two titled “ Yellow Bellied Man”, boasts an almost old western/folk flair with a modern twist. That is, until it reaches the climatic harmonious chorus where it pulls you into a different melodic world. The third song on Sirens ,“Grow”, enchants and whisks you away with it’s haunting “siren-like” backing “ohhhs” and the juxtaposition of Carsey’s soulful and belty powerhouse vocals layered on top.
A favorite on the album “Stuck On You”, is a heart wrenching love song about not being able to let go of that one person that you hate to love. The chorus is like a sucker punch to the heart, and certainly stirs up the listener’s emotional baggage. “Her”, track five, is both whimsical, haunting, and almost waltz-like. This song takes a beautiful and unexpected turn at the end, where listeners anticipate the bridge may go, but in fact, becomes the outro. One that could stand on its own as another full track or interlude on the album. “You Are Still”, the second to last song is the perfect uplifting yet poignant segway to the finale titled “S.O.B.”. The last track is seemingly the most upbeat and lighthearted song on the album. With fun folk-pop elements (who doesn’t love a good banjo?), Carsey ends her album on a high note. This perfectly parallels the emotional growth she’s experienced and so thoughtfully conveys in her lyrics and instrumentals. The perfect song to complete this chapter in her life, also known as Sirens.
Her new album Sirens is OUT NOW! Check it out over on BC Music and let us know what you think! You can also catch her Album Release Show happening TOMORROW on Culture Collide’s Facebook page at 8PM PST. See you there!