It’s been a while since Carmen Jane released new tracks. Her last outing was “I guess it’s the season”, an all-Christmas EP with an enticing on-brand spin, but now she returns to the scene with “Blame you”, a haunting dark pop piece with an enigmatic and edgy style in which Jane’s voice exudes mystery and ruggedness.
“Blame you” is about the journey of anger that we often take. It’s about allowing yourself to feel at the highest intensity knowing that you should eventually come off it & face the issue at hand.
Check out the chat that we had with this rising American vocalist, instrumentalist, and songwriter.
Carmen your song is full of dark emotions which are really easy to connect with, because of the sensations you describe, I think we’ve all felt that. Can you reveal a bit about the personal history behind this track?
The beautiful thing about music and art is that in it we get to articulate the emotions or thoughts that are not always easy or appropriate to express in our everyday lives. This song started from a story my friend was telling me about her boss. As we sat together on a couch & she described the frustration and anger over this particular situation, I sat there realizing her feelings were ones I had felt time and time again. As I sifted through my own memories, I realized that I had hidden some seeds of resentment & blame that needed to be released. That’s why I’m so thankful for this art. The expressions in this song were meant to be felt in full force, but in the most healing of ways. In writing it, I discovered that the real enemy was ME.
Blaming others is usually a comfortable or unconscious way out. Have you had a change in perspectives when writing this theme or did the change occur beforehand?
One thousand percent. It’s easy to point the finger away from yourself. It’s much harder to look inward. To assess without judgment. To admit when you have a part in the damage. Imagine taking a beast on a walk. You have it leashed, to make certain you can control it, but it walks behind you wherever you go. This beast is big and scary and causes a lot of chaos in its wake. You don’t really notice most of the time because you are looking forward, but every once in a while, you sneak a peek behind you. When you do, you realize the devastation that has occurred. This is how I see that blame and anger in myself. If I don’t notice it, tend to it, guide it, attempt to tame it…it can easily become something I can no longer control. That’s not someone I want to be. That’s not a monster I want to ignore. This girl would rather be beast free.
How is the stage of “Blame you” different from the one you lived with “Your Madness”, “FUN” or “Numb” in musical terms?
They were actually written at similar times. My producer Nico Rebscher is a master at creating a feeling. Each song holds a different one while still maintaining the DNA of Carmen Jane. This one just happens to showcase those emotions that most of us are too afraid to let others see. Therefore its sound is one of intensity and grit.
Pain, joy, grief, anger, compassion, and sorrow are feelings that live in us all. But how is your daily life in emotional terms? What situations lower your spirits and what situations raise them up?
I have lived the gamut of those listed emotions quite intensely the last several years. I lost my Dad to Neurological Lyme Disease in 2020 after a long 9 year battle. Because of what I would consider the greatest loss of my life thus far, I am closer with my emotions then I have ever been. I can say with confidence that there isn’t a lot that can be thrown at me that feels insurmountable now. Each day brings it’s own set of joys and sorrows and I’ve learned to embrace them all. Especially the joys. They are even sweeter now. Music happens to be a way that those things get expressed in the rawest of ways for me. I don’t know what I would do without it.
We don’t know too many details about your creative process, so let’s ask: Who was in charge of the musicalization of this track? It has a very powerful musical atmosphere that generates an instant hook from the beginning.
My creative process has changed a lot over the years. This particular track was created in Germany with my dear friend, writer and producer Nico Rebscher. We did almost the entirely of it in about a day. I have to brag about him for a minute. It took me a long long time to find someone who really understood what I wanted. I sat in many rooms with talented people who created beautiful work but that didn’t reflect ME. Nico got it from session 1. My asks for oddities while maintaining purity were answered. My desire for tension with movement were magnified. But most importantly, my hope for sharing my heart and stories without them getting lost in a track was where I fell in love with his skills. Nicos fingerprints are all over this song and his talent is unmatched. My process is ever changing but the heart of what I do remains. The raw emotions need to be the start and the focus. So if we try and start with that AND THEN add a beat you can bob your head to from the second it starts…we usually win.
Let’s talk about the video. Very raw and a bit gothic. What can you tell us about it?
The video for Blame you was created with my team and friends from Factory Town in Spokane Wa. Here’s the deal, I won’t lie to you. We had one day to do it and the smallest of crews. We put our heads together, I told them the story behind the song and we brainstormed how to make something impactful in a short time, with limited resources. We landed on creating something that gave you the feeling of those thick emotions without making the whole video be angry in tone. We wanted the viewer to sit with images that made you feel the struggle we’ve all felt. The fight with oneself to point the finger in every direction other than the one that perhaps matters most.
Is a full EP on the way?
Oooooo I knew you were gonna ask that. I’m gonna plead the 5th, but in doing so, you probably have your answer (wink wink).
Let’s do a projection exercise. How do you see yourself in a few years? What things do you want to achieve in this industry?
I’ve always been a tentative dreamer. Is that a thing? I like a good plan and I love for it to be attainable. I want to answer, “I see myself at the grammy’s and on the world stage in a few years”. The truth is, I don’t know! Do I want those things…hell yeah I do. Will I work my ass off to get them…you bet your bottom dollar. But if I’m honest, they aren’t the main goal for me on a day-to-day basis. I started Carmen Jane to have an outlet for my stories. A place for my heart. A home for my melodies. Music has always been like magic to me. It connects me to others. It moves me when I feel stuck. Music transcends differences and is universally felt. I feel honored to have a place in this industry however long or short it is and boy am I lucky that people actually want to listen.
Story: Mariana Gonzalez Photos: Courtesy of the artist
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