Blackened fields unfold up blackened hills, and border off in the distance up against blackened mountains. Ashes fall, the wipers, on “Slow,” smear the soot across the wet windshield, and the steam rising from burnt trees in the misty rain mixes with the fog rising from the burnt ground.
The smell of yesterday’s smoke and today’s damp earth is pungent and thick, and somehow oddly comforting. A landscape of endless green and gold has been rendered monotone, like a 1950s TV, where all is now black except for the gray, cloudy sky.
No signs of life here aside from the odd bird flying by, screeching as it comments from on high, “Don’t hold on.” The horses, they knew this. They ran. From the first whiff of smoke, they knew there’s no point in holding onto something you can never control, you can’t negotiate with, something that’s lost. They’ll be back, in time. When the earth heals and life returns, so will they. But they’ll never stop running. They’re wild horses. That’s what they do.
Navigating the balmy essence of summer, Laura Carbone’s latest single, “Horses,” unfurls with a languorous, dreamy groove, an ambient backing soundtrack that sets the stage for Laura’s mesmerizing vocal delivery. Evoking the spectral ghosts of the likes of Sadé, Chrystabell and Elizabeth Fraser, it’s an anthem for the unbridled. “Don’t hold on, wild horses,” it whispers to those in the know. “Run with your wild horses.” It’s the very essence of your soul. Embodying a sonorous narrative, “Horses” marks the second single off Laura Carbone’s much-anticipated 13-song double album, “The Cycle.” A collaborative effort, the song forged in the creative furnace between Laura and her band’s lead guitarist, Mark Eric Lewis.
The lyrics describe a vivid, stormy landscape where thunder rolls and ashes fall. Amid this chaotic scene, a sense of longing and warning is expressed, with golden fields that turn black and a repeated plea to come back. The recurring theme of “wild horses” urges one not to hold on but to run free with them. It can be seen as a metaphorical message to embrace one’s wild, untamed nature, letting go of control, and moving with the natural forces of life, even in times of change or destruction. The lyrics encapsulate a tension between nature’s chaos and human desire.
“The inspiration for “Horses” came to me when I was driving through the Santa Monica Mountains in April 2019 and was deeply moved by the majestic nature surrounding me,” says Carbone. “It filled me with great humility to witness the incredible strength with which nature reclaimed its existence after the devastating wildfires in the fall of 2018. The song reflects the passion and courage required to stand up for oneself, to embrace something with full force, just like the radiant power and passion of summer or, indeed, horses running freely in their freedom.”
“The melodic motif and chords for Horses had accompanied me for some time but had never found their rightful place,” adds composer Brodie Myles White. After playing a demo to Laura, it was as though she knew what the track needed all along. Using the space in the song wisely, being sure not to fill it. The vocals nurture the main melodic theme and transport it further into an ethereal realm.”
With a mixing hand from the deft Collin Dupuis, known for his work with the likes of St. Vincent, The Black Keys, and Lana Del Rey, and mastering craftsmanship by Philipp Welsing of Original Mastering Hamburg, “The Cycle” is sure to resonate deeply.
Navigating through a tempest of emotional turmoil and transcendent triumphs, “The Cycle” is more than just a collection of songs; it’s a journey through the seasons of a year, portraying the transformation and metamorphosis of the album’s central heroine. It’s a layered, multifaceted story that is set to make a resonant mark within the post-punk and alternative realms, unfolding the enigmatic chapters of a profound, deeply human experience. The anticipation continues to build as listeners await the full reveal of Laura Carbone’s conceptual masterwork.
Synchronized with the thematic concept of “The Cycle,” Carbone, accompanied by her tight-knit ensemble, are slated to drop a fresh single as each season ebbs and flows, leading up to a much-anticipated full-length release come Spring 2024. This seasonal suite of singles is not merely a musical exercise but an odyssey, each piece crystallizing an experience or inspiration correlated to that season, and illustrating our heroine’s personal journey. All paths converge next spring, culminating in the release of “The Cycle.”
“Horses” is out now on Cosmic Dreaming Records.
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