Rosie Carney writes haunting music, watery soundscapes with delicate vocals that fit the introspection of the lyrics. She has yet to release a full-length album, but she currently has two songs up on SoundCloud that promise something good lies ahead. Carney is a Hampshire, England native currently living in Donegal, Ireland. At 19, she’s already played SXSW, a strange experience she described in her blog last year. I got in touch for a quick e-mail interview to ask about “Awake Me,” he latest single, and her plans for the near future.
Who are you singing to in “Awake Me?” Is it safe to say you are the narrator?
It’s a song of self help, but I am singing to anyone who needs it. I wrote “Awake Me” when I so desperately needed to confront and deal with things I had kept buried deep within myself for what seemed like a lifetime. I wrote a song I needed to hear.
When you sing, “I’ve been a fool for more than half my live/I’ve tried to hide,” it feels like there’s a specific story behind the line. Can you say what that line means to you?
The line was written about realizing that, from such a young age, I’d been so unsure of who I was and wanted to be. I didn’t have the right people around me. I was so easily mislead and so easily hurt. I spent such a long time beating myself up based on other people’s insecurities.
There’s an almost Biblical feel to the last verse, “And oh the birds are falling to the ground/All the trees are growing up so down/We’re all holding on to something/Holding on to someone else’s hand.” Again, it’s evocative, like there’s a specific story the listener will fill in based on their own experience. Is that part of your philosophy as a writer? Meeting the listener halfway with your imagery to create a story that means something to them?
I want people to take from my music their own experiences. To have their own interpretation of what is being said. Although the obvious stands tall in my lyrics, people, including myself, are always looking for their own truths in music and art. We’re always looking for something honest we can relate too and hold close. I can provide my own take of imagery in the lyrics, but we will all see and gather from it our own distorted worlds. That’s what makes it so personal. It’s self-reflective.
The press release for the single mentioned you suffer from depression and anorexia, and that music helps you through it. How so? What does it give you that helps?
It gives me truth. It allows me to self-heal and remain very much in the moment. It’s like a form of mindfulness. It has a very therapeutic effect.
How did you come to play at SXSW last year?
I actually applied the day before the applications closed. I thought “Why not” thinking I wouldn’t hear back, then 2 weeks later I received an email from SXSW asking if I’d come and showcase!
Sounds like it was a surreal experience – playing in a circus-themed bar, at a soup kitchen, and for industry. What sticks in your mind about those performances? What are the details that have stayed with you?
I think the gig that stuck with me the most has to be the first one I did when I arrived out there in the soup kitchen. It was a gig for the homeless whilst they ate their lunch. I felt such an overwhelming sense of love. We were all lost in our own ways, and it connected us. It was soul nurturing.
Are you working on a full-length album? If so, is there a rough timeline for when you might release it?
My focus is just releasing some EPs before I jump into an album. I want to give snippets of who I am musically before deciding on final story.
Will the first two songs you’ve released – “Awake Me” and “Better Man” – wind up on that album?
Are those two songs a good indication of the sound you are looking for?
They’re a good indication of what sounds resonated with me when I wrote those songs.