Any artist described as “an excellent purveyor of melancholic indie music” needs a band of equal stature. Featuring Chris Bruce on guitar, Jebin Bruni on keyboards (Aimee Mann, Paula Cole, PiL), Earl Harvin on drums (Tindersticks, Air), and Meshell Ndegeocello on bass, Daniel Carlson has assembled such a band for his new single “Light Lab”.
A poignant moment of summer reflection, perfect to calm the soul, “Light Lab” is the song that leads off Daniel’s forthcoming fourth album, Cartoon Babylon and you can check out our exclusive premiere of the video here:
Sparkling with gorgeous delicate sounds and Carlson’s comforting voice, “Light Lab” is a poignant moment of summer reflection, like a cool breeze emerging to calm the soul. Carlson explains the inspiration behind the song: “I lived in Los Angeles in the late 1980s, and there was this woman I knew a bit, Tara. She was the girlfriend of a friend of mine. Tara was trying to be a songwriter but was like the rest of us – had all sorts of other gigs just trying to get the rent paid. And one of them was in a funny kind of dump near downtown; I can’t remember the name, a coffee shop that turned into a sort of hipster hang out after 1 or 2 in the morning. And you’d see her there, and she’d just be losing it after a twelve-hour shift, and you’d ask how she was, and she’d say, ‘I’m taking out the half world for a final overhaul,’ which stuck in the back of my brain in a funny way.”
“It was completely bizarre. One afternoon I was in Amsterdam, the next I was off the coast of Italy in a very different kind of scene. I mean it was great, but it was just so far beyond anything I’d ever experienced.”
Continuing the tale, Daniel explains: “It was completely bizarre. One afternoon I was in Amsterdam, the next I was off the coast of Italy in a very different kind of scene. I mean it was great, but it was just so far beyond anything I’d ever experienced. I didn’t have a guitar with me, but that phrase kept coming back around and I started singing it into my phone, just using the memo record. Different melodies, different rhythms. By the time I got back home, I probably had 30 different versions to sort through.”
But what of Tara? Carlson concludes the tale: “The main obstacle was that I couldn’t remember her last name. I’m not sure I’d ever known it in the first place. I did end up getting the song to her, through a kind of roundabout way. She said she liked it, that it reminded her of a moment, which made me happy. Because that’s the whole point, right?”
Cartoon Babylon will be released in October 2022, and you can find out more here.