Carla J. Easton premieres new music video for 'Milk & Honey'
- Arusa Qureshi
- 5 October 2018
Featuring Sesame Street style puppets and plenty of adorable moments
With the release of her brilliant new album Impossible Stuff and a storming year of gigs around the country and beyond, Carla J. Easton has done much to further establish herself as a key element of Scotland's contemporary pop scene. As well as working on her new solo record, she made an appearance on Belle & Sebastian's How to Solve Our Human Problems (Part 3) earlier this year and is also currently working with filmmaker Blair Young on a feature film documentary titled Since Yesterday: The Unsung Women Pioneers of Scottish Pop. We catch up with the singer-songwriter to hear more about the album and future plans, alongside the brand-new music video for 'Milk & Honey', which you can watch below.
Can you tell us more about the video and how it all came together?
This is the third video I've made with Ross Dickson as filmmaker and editor. We looked at the video we had made for 'Dreamers On The Run' (based on Eurovision) and thought about what had worked well with that and decided a large part of its success as a format was the feeling of nostalgia. When I was at Glasgow School of Art, I used to make short lo-fi puppet videos as a means of looking at adult issues through from a child's perspective. I had recently taken part in the exhibition curated by Ross Sinclair, Artists Who Make Music, Musicians Who Make Art, and my puppets had been in that. I decided to dust them off!
We went with the Sesame Street theme as it's recognisable, iconic and fun, linked in, again, with feelings of nostalgia. A big part of the song's content is being too scared to say you need someone. I like the paradox. Puppets need humans to be able to function. The opening shot spans the universe down to the tiniest plants and creatures on Earth; all the little things that are connected that make the world go round. My nieces are in the video, they make my world go round!
Did you approach Impossible Stuff with any particular themes or ideas in mind?
Most of 2017 was spent back home in the middle of nowhere, returning to writing on the piano rather than the synth, exploring themes of lucid dreaming and the blur between reality and fantasy. I wanted to push the piano to the fore of my latest work, developing polyphonic string and brass arrangements that would sit alongside choir-influenced harmonies, combining the artificial sounds of the synth with the realness of live instrumentation.
It's travel, love, break-ups, regrets, longings, dreams and an expression of my love of music. It's honest.
How does the creation of your solo work differ from your work with TeenCanteen?
It's mostly demo stage when I'm still writing the song. With TeenCanteen I would just demo up what the synth part might be for each song along with my vocal and send it off to the girls. With my solo stuff, I get much more into it and start writing other parts: strings, drums, harmonies. I start fleshing it out and think more about the overall sound of the finished record. I love exploring counter melodies and multiple synth sounds. The TeenCanteen album came out two years ago and we recorded it in 2015, same with my ETTE album, so I would hope that this album sees a development in my songwriting because I always want to get better and continue to learn and grow.
What are you hoping that listeners will take away from Impossible Stuff?
It's a pretty honest record, which I hope I have left open enough for others to relate to. Maybe you smile with me when I'm happy and cry a tear with me when I'm sad. I think it's OK to be insecure and not know where you are going. I think the best plan you can have is not to have a plan at all. Impossible Stuff is pretty reflective.
What are your plans for the next year?
Who knows! Hopefully me and Blair Young will finish our documentary on Scottish all girl-bands. I'd be hoping to get back into the recording studio too (I've been dipping in and out since finishing this album!). I'm just really looking forward to releasing more singles/videos from this album and get out and play it live. It took up most of my life last year and I want people to hear it. I went into this record with the ethos of 'make this as though it's the last thing you make' cause it might be – you never know. So with that in mind, I'll be playing it as much as possible.