Luray is led by Washington, D.C.-based singer/songwriter Shannon Carey who creates banjo-inspired indie rock fused with Americana and folk on the debut The Wilder, released on August 27th. Recorded in Eau Claire, Wisconsin with her brother/producer Sean Carey (of S. Carey and Bon Iver), The Wilder became a family affair with the addition of brother Colin Carey (vibes, drums) and husband Gabriel Wisniewski (electric guitar). Luray provides a haunting sound-track of banjos, vibes, pedal steel, and ambient vocals that give the listener a comforting yet surreal edge that conjure images of what Sigur Rós would sound like if they went Americana. We recently talked to Carey shortly after the release date of The Wilder.
Tell us about your new recording and five songs that best represent where you are as an artist?
The Wilder is our first record, and so I’d have to say that all of the songs represent where I am as an artist. Some were written later on in the process, however- songs like ‘Promise of Lakes’ and ‘Tidalground’ represent a lot of the elements of my style and sound, whereas songs like ‘Crying’ which are more straightforward country are pretty specific and stay within the genre. I like experimenting with making different and unexpected sounds and tones with the banjo, so I’m excited about taking that idea further on the next project.
Tell us about your first concert experience?
The first really memorable concert for me was going to see Tori Amos in Madison, Wisconsin when I was in high school (I’m from Wisconsin), and waiting to meet her outside- and I worshipped her at the time. So I got to meet her and it was a moment of putting the person together with the artist. She is really a unique artist and her music is so powerful.
Most memorable moment as a musician so far on stage…
Playing the last song on my album, ‘Lullaby’ to a hushed crowd at my CD Release show and feeling connected to the audience, and revealing something really personal and quiet in the music.
In high school you thought you were going to grow up to be an …….
Likes and dislikes about your musical hometown?
DC is a great place to be in a band and play live music. We started playing out in DC about a year ago and were so happily surprised by how welcoming the community was, and how easy it was to book gigs and get to know people and musicians. DC is home to so many diverse genres and people from all over the world and country, that it really is a place you can find good live music every day of the week. The downside is there’s too much great stuff to keep up with, and never enough time.
How and where do you typically get inspired to write new material?
I get inspired on long walks or running, when things are quiet and my mind is quiet. I also get inspired when I see live music, and I just want to go home and write a song, or record something I’m working on. Which is why it’s wonderful to live out in the country, like we do now (in southern Maryland), so I can work on songs late at night, after a show.
Favorite albums of 2013 so far?
Patty Griffin – American Kid, Sigur Ros – Kveikur, Overseas- Overseas
If you could curate a festival who would be on it?
Megafaun, Sigur Rós, Wye Oak, First Aid Kit, Alison Krauss, Joy Kills Sorrow, Tallest Man on Earth- this is fun.. Let’s make this festival, ok?!
I hope one day to make an album that sounds like…
Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes – a dynamic and gorgeous album..