As Lisa Caruso prepares to release her debut record, the artist opens up to Tone Deaf writer Kasey Thompson about relationships, the writing process behind her most recent single ‘Dream Lover’, using people watching as a songwriting technique, and her upcoming album release In Feelings.
Working as a touring musician presents more than its fair share of challenges even at the best of times. Combine this with being a self-managed artist, teaching high-school and living with Crohn’s disease and you’ve got a pretty full plate.
Although she admits that the flare ups she experiences due to her condition slow her at times, Caruso says she never lets it take over her life or keep her down.
Inspired by artists like PJ Harvey, Lana Del Rey, and Angel Olsen, the sometimes rocking, sometimes brooding storyteller always shares relatable experiences in her songs, bringing elements of both the 60s and 90s indie eras to her writing.
“I’m quite instinctual and depending on the feeling and what’s happening in my life, I feel like I’m very much a writer that goes on feelings.” the musician says of her writing process.
Her most recent release ‘Dream Lover’, which explores vulnerability and pushing back, is the indie artists fourth single and will be featured on her forth coming debut LP In Feelings.
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“It just felt right to call it In Feelings.”
Caruso felt that the name perfectly encompasses the album’s emotional range that sees it go from highly intense, angry songs to more soft and vulnerable moments.
When asked what we can expect from the record, produced by Benjamin Fletcher (Sarah Blasko, Marina And The Diamonds), Caruso teased rockier tracks compared to her previous work but also some withdrawn, slow moving and mellow songs.
Diving more into the meaning behind the title track, Caruso lamented that ‘Dream Lover’ was “just a very honest song.”
The track, which broods and swells with emotion, delves deep into the dynamics in relationships and the compromises you have to make.
“Sometimes you feel like one person is compromising so much more than the other, and there’s a line in there that’s quite prominent and it just screams ‘what about me?’”
Check out ‘Dream Lover’ by Lisa Caruso:
Discussing how she fell into creating music, Caruso noted that she has always been passionate about music from a young age.
The beginnings of her music career however were rooted in being part of a girl group when she was just 14. Although her girl group days were short lived, it ignited her passions enough to pick up the guitar and begin song writing.
From there, Caruso took every gig opportunity she could find and played around for years on the live circuit. It wasn’t until much later on that she even considered that she could record her work.
Kicking off her recording career with her debut EP Take A Walk in 2014, Caruso has come a long way from her humble beginnings writing songs in her bedroom as a young teenager.
Check out Lisa Caruso’s ‘I Will Be’:
When asked about where she draws her lyrical inspiration from, Caruso reflected that it’s often a mix of both introspection and observation.
“I am quite introspective when I write, but I also people watch to make my life seem more interesting (laughs).”
Elaborating on this point, Caruso says that she likes to use the lives of others as well as draw on her own experiences to create songs that feel relatable to her audience.
Nominated for Emerging Artist of the Year award at the Australian Women in Music Awards earlier this year, Caruso said that “Just being nominated felt like a win.”
“I felt very honoured when I got the nomination, It really meant a lot to me and to be a part of an event like that was incredible, It really encompasses the every person.”
Discussing her next steps and the release of her album next year, Caruso remarked that although she’s worked hard this year, she wants to work even harder next year.
“I’m really wanting 2020 to be a year of touring and playing more supports but I also want to write the next album as well and record it in the states.”
You can catch Lisa Caruso playing her new single ‘Dream Lover’ and other songs from her forthcoming album In Feelings live on the dates listed below.
Check out Lisa Caruso’s ‘Borrow My Body’:
Lisa Caruso Live Dates 2019
Fri, December 6th
Finders Keepers, Barangaroo NSW
The Union, Sydney, NSW