Life Is Made of
'I can't recall any sort of epiphany where I realized that music was my calling,' explains singer/songwriter Laurie Katherine Carlsson, who didn't start playing guitar until she was 21. 'It sucked me in slowly. I picked up a guitar and learned to play an Indigo Girls song (that would be 'Blood and Fire,' for the record.) I wrote some poetry and set it to music. I made the decision to go to music school (the prestigious Berklee College of Music). I booked my first gig and scrambled to write more songs to fill out the set. I put out a record. I searched for bandmates, And one morning I woke up and knew that music was it for me.' The fact that music wasn't an obvious career choice seems strange, given the effortless ease and grace of Carlsson's music. Her clear voice and lilting melodies are the anchor for emotionally resonant songs that blend the folk influences she was raised on (Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Carole King) with inspiration from modern pop-rock acts like Ben Folds, Wilco and Jonatha Brooke. Music from Carlsson's debut album, 'Life Is Made Of,' has been featured in Starbucks stores across the States, and her open-hearted, instantly memorable songs have been winning over an ever-expanding audience that includes rarely impressed industry types like Jason Ferguson, the booking manager of the Moore and Paramount Theaters in Seattle, who unequivocally calls her an 'artist to watch.' Like her musical influences, Carlsson's lyrical inspiration comes from a classic place - relationships. 'I have a giant fear of coming across as cheesy,' she admits. 'But perhaps I am cheesy and just need to embrace that fact.' Carlsson needn't worry about coming across as trite. Her songs adeptly display a grasp of life's complexities. In 'Like Song,' she tells a potential paramour that 'This is not a love song/crafted from your body/I guess this is a like song/forgive me if it comes out oddly.' It's a testament to the friendship that needs to exist behind any real relationship. For now, you can catch Carlsson and her band at better venues around the Northwest, supporting their new self-titled EP. But keep your eyes and ears open - this is an artist with long-term goals, the talent to accomplish them and a healthy dose of tunnel vision.