On Monday evening, a polite and docile start-of-the week crowd waited patently for Carmody, who was about to grace the stage at The Waiting Room, an unassuming basement bar in London. The audience was younger than average, holding plastic pints of ale, sporting short cropped fringes and bangs galore. But they were an undoubtably friendly crowd; no moshpitting tonight.
Carmody wasted no time in floating onto the stage, accompanied by Laura Misch on saxophone and Carassius Gold, who produced her EP ‘Skin’. They all came together beautifully and opened up with the track ‘For Desire’, accompanied by Tobie Tripp on violin with two backing vocalists in toe.
Carmody is an undeniably great performer, never once broke a sweat and always kept a winning smile on her face, even in the wake of some technical difficulties. She colourfully described the context of each of her songs before playing them, which added a personal touch to her performance For example ‘Like That’ she related, is about being in a relationship for a long while, and what this might mean. In this song she mourns that you can be getting undressed while your partner is there on the bed… on their phone…not noticing you. She touches on that gradual familiarity of each other, and describes what her perfect relationship would be like. In this she both laments the loss of the initial fiery attraction, but also recognises that this familiarity is something that happens to us all.
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As the night flowed on, Carmody began to slowly fill her stage with special guests, including Alfa Mist, who featured the singer on the 2015 EP ‘Nocturne’. Both intertwined their talents in a rendition of ‘Dreams’ from the aforementioned EP, together with a stripped down set with Alfa Mist on piano and Carmody on vocals. Carmody then went on to explain how she has always had trouble sleeping, and how this particular track was about when your partner drifts to sleep whilst you lie awake, wrapped up in envious insomnia.
After this revelation came ‘Two spoons’. Once again, Carmody went on to paint the picture of the track, grounding it in real, human terms. ‘Two Spoons’ is the musical embodiment of the smell of a stranger passing you by, that unfathomably awakes a memory within you. The flip-side of the coin, she related, is that the unfamiliarity of the subject conflicts with the uncanny feeling of familiarity that comes with memory. Lyrically Carmody has a gift for highly personal subject matter, and her performance embodied this kind of deep self-reflection.
Her final guest appearance of the evening is the always endearing Tom Misch. Together they launched into ‘So Close’, which leant itself perfectly to Carmody’s vocal style. Since featuring on Tom Misch’s EP ‘Out to Sea’ Carmody has undeniably been getting more attention as a musician, and the pair looked as though they had a wonderful sense of rapport. Check out Tom Misch’s upcoming project ‘5 Day Mischon’ where he will write five tracks in five days. The compilation will be released at some point in the next few days, so keep an eye on the social media sphere for that one.
Carmody shone brightly in the basement venue, and exuded the comforting glow that only good music can provide. The subtext of all of her work is the simple notion that “everything is going to be ok”.
You can catch Carmody at Omeara, London on the 9th May.