I’ve struggled to write this post. All of my beautiful and evocative words can’t seem to encapsulate what this woman means to me. This will be my third try to find a way to introduce the artist who has meant the most to me in the last five years of my life.
When it comes to music, I don’t often venture off my path onto new avenues of exploration. I can count on one hand, the bands that have caught my attention since my initial cherry-picking session. Most of my favorite bands have been so for the entirety of my adult life; chosen on impulse, in the heat of teenage infatuation. I used to be so much better at following my gut!
Speaking of such, I think that’s what I will do for this post, follow my gut. I could tell you about her music, but really that you need to discover for yourself. I could tell you about the numerous bands of which she is a valued member, but so can Wikipedia. I could tell you how I have Maynard (and ‘the revolving door of talent’ that is his collective known as Puscifer) to thank for bringing her into my life, but that’s only where the story starts.
The only remarkable thing about the very beginning of this infatuation was that I don’t often fall in love with women rockers. Don’t get me wrong, I know girls can rock out just as hard as boys. I just never found one that speaks to my soul. Stevie Nicks came close, but there was always this sense of romantic tragedy that snagged my attention and bound her in my thoughts to her other Fleetwood Mac band-mates. For years, I obsessed over the Stevie-and-Lindsey love story. Seeing each of them play solo concerts, as well as having seen Fleetwood Mac live twice, changed my mental landscape in dramatic ways, but again, another tale for another day.
Back to the lady of the hour! Let us delay no more on shining this spotlight exactly where it deserves to be! Ladies and gentlemen, may I present for your consideration, the lovely, multi-talented, powerful creatrix (and now Super-Mama as of a few days ago!!):
You may have never heard her name before. It’s possible you’ve never enjoyed the sweet sound of her voice; brightly melodious with a touch of drunken moonlight and candle-lit darkness. If so, it’s not too late. Stop what you’re doing now!! Oh wait…. that would be reading this, right? Well, I guess it’s alright to wait til you’re done, but also know I won’t be offended if you open a YouTube window and type “Carina Round” into that adorable little magnifying glass up there and listen to her WHILE reading this! A girl can dream!
YouTube is the first rabbit hole I fell down. In short order, I found each of her songs (my favorite playlist at the time had 55 of them) and fell in love with them one after the other. Her voice initially peaked my interest because of how well it co-mingled with Maynard’s, but standing alone on a stage — girl with a guitar, the dictionary definition of — she is a powerhouse. If I can figure out how, I will close this tale with a few of my favorite clips. A great place to start if you want to fall in love with her too; which, of course, I highly recommend.
But now onto that other prevalent social media that has deviously, patiently and so thoroughly taken over our lives. Yes, I’m talking about Facebook. But, hey, aren’t we here to talk about music, you say! Of course we are, my dear! This is the intersection where one story becomes another.
I have followed her Facebook page for years. Carina doesn’t post often, but when she does it’s usually an intimate, no-holds-barred portal into her life. I’m pretty sure I’ve ‘liked’ every single thing she has ever put up on Facebook (at least until that far more accurate ‘love’ button hit the scene).
One day, while checking my notifications, this happened:
I swear I almost exploded from excitement!! It was enough that it happened. At all. But to be holding my phone at the exact same digital instant that her beautiful finger tapped ‘like’ on my comment. I can’t even describe. It was electricity! I’m tingly and teary eyed just thinking about how much happiness that simple gesture brought me. I could have died happy with that alone, but things were about to get so much cooler!
Having just finished putting together a retrospective album of her career, Carina was releasing an extremely limited amount of them early as part of the Record Store Day promotion organized to drive traffic into the few remaining institutions selling physical music. She put up a post listing all the participating record stores and I commented on it. Ever the hands-on, DIY music darling, she replied to my comment and tried to help me find a retailer in Vancouver so I could get my hands on a copy.
The stores she mentioned ended up being in Vancouver, Washington as in my bubbling excitement I forgot to specify I was from Canada. However, it was enough of a kick in the butt for me to do some research of my own. Thanks to a local establishment Highlife Records, I was able to get on the exclusive list of people requesting a copy of this double-sided gold vinyl album.
I thought I was one of five hundred lucky people to get my hands on it (that’s how many were released for RSD total), but I found out when I went downtown to retrieve my copy, that I was actually one in five. Five copies came into my country and one of them ended up in my spastically vibrating, perversely excited hands. And it never would have happened if Carina herself hadn’t spoken to me.
As a one-time occurrence, this was enough to keep a person fully enamored with their favorite artist for the rest of time. You’ll just have to take my word for it, if you’ve never been in contact with yours. But, it didn’t happen just the once! Well, our exchange of words was a singularity, but Carina continued to ‘like’ nearly every comment I made on her posts (72 times if we’re counting! I’m totally counting!).
At the time, I was feeling low; fully aware I had just ruined my career by accepting a promotion. Fighting daily: to smile, to do my job, verbally sparring with my boss. But when I was waking up in the morning or on the bus or chilling after work and I saw that gorgeous name in my notifications, it blew my mind. Every. Single. Time.
It did taper off over time which was completely understandable. She tours with multiple different bands and is a busy bee.
She also suffered a tremendous loss when her Mom passed away in September 2016. I was shattered right along side her and began to have a seriously troubling fixation on my own Mother’s health. I can’t even imagine what losing such an important piece of your life and self must be like, but that didn’t stop me from trying. I still fixate on this more often than I should, but I try to use it a positive catalyst to enjoy every single moment I have with my Mum.
Near the one year anniversary of her mother’s passing, Carina became a mother herself. Full circle, baby! The wheel of life continues to turn and we’re all just along for the ride (at least we get more than one!), each spin seems so fast. A blur and it’s gone. I hope reading this has inspired you to love with all your heart, as strong and fierce as you can. And, if you love someone (anyone!) tell them! You never know how they may reciprocate and blow your mind completely!
A Collection of Carina Links for your perusal:
YouTube (my all time favorite clips):
See Carina sing to the rain, click here.
Watch Carina fill a church with sound, click here.
Dig deep into her library and meet old friends and new, click here.
Check Carina killing it with side project Early Winters, click here.
Hear Maynard and Carina sing together and watch a quirky fan-made video that I feel really captures the mood of the song, click here.
Official Carina Round site
A site put together by fellow super fan Chazz Avery that contains nearly every possible thing you may want to know about her.
What musical artist do you adore? Who can you not live without? Who has touched you the most deeply with their music? I wanna know! Tell me, please, please! Let’s chat about the music we love some more one day. And if you do fall in love with Carina Round, please tell me. If I can make just one more human understand the full extent of her awesome, I will consider myself a success in life and blogging! Have a joyful weekend! Love, my friends. Love hard!