Singer Erin McCarley Shows There’s a Moody Sexy Side of Nashville
When you think of artists who come from Nashville, you may mistakenly think of old school clean-cut Taylor Swift or any of the major country music stars — but it turns out, Nashville is actually churning out some pretty cool vibey and edgy artists, who are anything but “bubblegum,” and have a sound all their own.
Enter Erin McCarley, Nashville singer/songwriter who released the vibey tune “Good” in October of last year. Erin hasn’t released a full album since 2012’s “My Stadium Electric,” but says she has a full finished set of songs — the one thing holding her back? Herself! She says she can’t stop writing new songs to be excited about.
On the heels of “Good,” Erin is releasing “Out Of The Fog,” a continuation of the newer, moodier, and darker sound she’s developed since the last album. “I’ve always seen a lot of beauty and depth in darker tones.”
The song itself has sexy Fiona Apple vibes with hypnotizing synths, but includes lyrics like “afraid of not being enough,” a juxtaposition of which Erin says, “This is pretty serious subject matter. It’s a ballad, but I wanted it to groove more than just putting the lyrics and melody with a simple piano, etc. There are a lot of layers in our lives and I wanted to give this track the room to show and expose those layers.”
The video continues along the line of sexiness — but sort of by accident, since Erin says she wasn’t going for “sexy dance moves. I wanted it to feel raw and intriguing.” And let’s just say it certainly is intriguing, and basically #bodymovegoals.
Check out the sexy-completely-by-accident video here, steal some of her moves, and then check out our Q&A with Erin below.
What was the inspiration for writing “Out of the Fog”?
The human condition with not feeling good enough to get to the other side of struggle. Also, the isolation that comes when struggling with depression, anxiety, life transitions and disappoints. I remember writing this one day in my studio at home in Nashville on guitar. It was one of those songs that just kind of “fell out.”
What was the songwriting process for this like?
I worked on this track with artist/producer/writer, Aaron Krause in Nashville. He and I spent many a day rolling around vibes and ideas for this one. Aaron became one of my secret weapons to help shape the sound that I went towards for my new project and I’m not sure I’ve ever laughed more in a session than when I worked with him.
What inspired the video and it’s very sexy dance moves?
I did have the help of Melissa Schade, a talented choreographer and friend in LA. She choreographed a couple of the sections and a lot of it was just an expression of whatever was living inside. I think because of the subject matter and vibe. My talented director/photographer friend, Fairlight Hubbard, connected with me and this song and we wanted to give this song a chance to be felt visually. Making sure patience was a key to the treatment, we started with the paralytic state of mind that comes when you are deep in your struggle. And as the song and video progress, it gradually takes you on a trip towards more movement to letting go.
Your sound seems to have morphed into using darker distortions as on “GOOD”, and the dusty drums on “Out of the Fog,” What inspired the turn towards using these sounds?
I’ve been in the mode of writing more from a dancer’s perspective in the last couple of years. I suppressed that in the beginning of my writing career because I wanted to play guitar and be taken seriously as a musician. I don’t know why that was the story inside my head. But I have a different story in there now. I’ve always seen a lot of beauty and depth in darker tones, and used it in my past tunes. But these new songs have fewer elements and allow those attitudes to breathe more. I’ve experimented with my voice as well and given myself the freedom to not conform to anything I’ve done in the past. I think each body of work I’ve made have very different energies. It’s like tastebuds changing every 7 years. My headspace morphs. I’m constantly inspired and becoming awake to new things that alter who I am as a person; which 100% affects the art.
Who would you say your musical inspirations are? Is there anyone you would “fan girl” over if you got to collaborate with them?
BECK + BEYONCE + FIONA APPLE + CHILDISH GAMBINO + THOM YORKE! If I had to pick one to watch in the works and be a part of an artistic collaboration, it would be Beyonce. Lemonade pushed me off the edge. What an incredibly powerful visual and musical experience. All of the choices were perfect. The style was impeccable. The messages were brave.
You haven’t released a full album in a few years, do you have any plans for a future EP or album, or will you continue to hit us with stellar singles for a bit?
I have a full album [finished] that I started writing almost 3 years ago. It’s been done for 6 months, but I keep writing new ones that really excite me. Soooo I’m in the middle of a “come to Jesus” with myself, and I’m making plans of how I want to go about releasing my new body of work. The newest singles “I CAN BE SOMEBODY,” “OUT OF THE FOG,” and “GOOD” are definitely part of this project along with some other tunes that are more politically charged and poignant. I have reached way outside of myself and worked with some amazing writers and producers here in Nashville on this new material.
For More on Erin McCarley
Get “Out Of The Fog”
Photo by Erin York