Released in August 2011, I discovered Canadian singer-songwriter Carly Maicher’s debut album, Hiding, through a tweet from Devon at Hearth Music sometime in December. And, when I first heard Hiding, I was taken aback by the crystal-clear soulfulness of Carly’s voice and it quickly became one of my favorite late-in-the-year discoveries for 2011. So, if y’all haven’t had a chance to listen to Hiding, please do after reading this great interview with Carly.
CFM: When did you become interested in music? What is your earliest musical memory?
CM: I suppose I have always been interested in music, even as a small child. My earliest memories are of participating in school theatre productions and going in between loving it, to being way too shy to do it. Not much has changed to be honest!
CFM: Have you always wanted to be a folk singer-songwriter? When did you start creating and writing your own songs?
CM: I started writing my own songs, on the piano, around when I was 12 or 13. My focus had been on the piano for many many years, and then I switched to guitar when I was about 15 or 16 and taught myself the basic chords, and over the years my style has transformed more so into folk music.
CFM: Why did you move from Manitoba to Grand Manan, NB? What did you do while living in there? How did Grand Manan influence Hiding? What did you learn about yourself and your music while living in Grand Manan?
CM: I was given the opportunity to live on Grand Manan Island sporadically after my family bought a summer home there. The summer home was not going to be used on a regular basis so I decided to take advantage of it and move there alone. The original intention was to go for one summer (I moved at the end of April 2008) to work on songs and to record this ‘home made’ album I had been wanting to record (super super lo fi). My grandparents are from the island originally which is why there was a connection to the place. I ended up staying the summer and loving it, and I continued staying and staying and staying until almost 4 years passed by.
Originally I had a job at a bakery, and then I got a new job as a waitress at a busy restaurant that I ended up loving. I met so many strangers who were tourists to the island, which the island strives off of in the summer time. Time kept passing and even though I was writing new songs, I wasn’t exactly following through with recording the album I had wanted.
I spent a lot of days hiking, sitting, pondering, watching, observing waves crash along the shore line, amazed by how fast the tide goes in and out and how much water travelled. And I spent many many nights on the beach having bon fires and singing songs to the moon.
Basically, the island was a total paradise and I was living a dream.
I became the manager at the restaurant and began using the restaurant as a music venue, and then eventually I started a folk festival (Summers End Folk Festival) which will be going into its third year this year.
What did I learn about myself? I learned independence in a pretty extreme way. I also learned about how some of the simplest things in life is what matters most. And even though I’m not currently on the island, I am still learning off of my experience there.
CFM: Describe Hiding. Which song best represents the album as a whole? Why?
CM: Hidingis basically about my journey there in a bigger picture. It originally wasn’t intended on being that because I had already had compiled a list of songs that I wanted my first album to be, but it became that. It’s about leaving all of the familiar things behind and experience the beauty and sadness of being totally alone.
What song best represents the album as a whole? Why?
That’s a super tough question. Each song sort of explores a different feeling, or thought. When I was living on Grand Manan, I definitely struggled with the thought of loving the solitude vs. missing everyone, and the life I left behind.
It’s like ocean vs. prairie. Not really knowing where in the world you belong. I think the songs are up and down like that too.
CFM: Was this your first time working with Zachary Lucky? How did you meet? What was it like to tour in the Prairie Roots Revue with Lucky, Northcote and Ryan Boldt? Any favorite moments?
CM: Yes, this was my first time working with Zachary Lucky. We met when Zachary was recording for a mutual friend of ours, (Kayla Luky).
Prairie Roots Revue was honestly, hands down, some of the best fun I have ever had. I loved spending 8 days with those boys – they are all so great. We laughed so hard. And connected on so many levels. And it was such an honor to share the stage, and share some songs. If I could do that tour over and over again for the rest of my career, I would.
CFM: Also, for those of us who follow both you and Zachary on twitter, what’s with the love/obsession with the Canadian ranches, horses, & the dramatic series Heartland?
CM:What a great question. Um. Well, we stumbled upon the series Heartland and got hooked. That’s the gist of it! There is some seriously addictive drama on that show! I guess the other obsession with it just comes from pining for that kind of lifestyle. Living out in the country surrounded by beautiful natural.
CFM: What are your plans for the future?
CM: Well, I will be heading out on a pretty long coast to coast tour with Zachary Lucky beginning in March, for his CD release.
After that – well I plan on doing lots of camping this upcoming summer (which it will almost be when we get back!). I’ll be busy planning a 3rd festival for a while too. And, I’ll probably come up with some plans to record a new record in that time. And maybe get a tan.
Carly Maicher: Facebook; Twitter; Myspace
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