Here at CelebMix, we love championing rising artists and sharing their incredible talents with you, our readers. Today, we’re excited to introduce you to Atlanta based artist Carly Gibson, who is premiering her brand new single ‘Love Me’ with us today.
A passionate singer-songwriter and respected guitarist, Carly is a multi-talented force to be reckoned with. Influenced by the likes of Grace Potter, Jimi Hendrix and John Mayer, Carly manages to captivate audiences with her sultry vocals and sincere lyrics.
During her career so far, Carly has 13 years of performance under her belt and has opened for and performed with the likes of Randall Bramblett, Donna Hopkins, Jeff Sipe and more. She is a 2009 and 2010 alumni of the prestigious GRAMMY Camp,and is a 2013 graduate of the renowned Atlanta Institute of Music – one of less than a dozen women to complete their guitar program.
In addition to working on her solo material, Carly is a member of two successful bands: Gibson Wilbanks and The Pussywillows. However, today the focus is on Carly and her thriving solo career as she unveils her new single ‘Love Me’.
‘Love Me’ is a mesmerising mix of Americana, roots and RnB which showcases Carly’s hypnotic vocals. Described as the first ‘positive’ love song she’s ever written, ‘Love Me’ is dedicated to a relationship of almost seven years, which has taught Carly to function, learn, and grow as an individual adult alongside the other.
Without further ado, take a listen to Carly’s haunting new single, ‘Love Me’, below.
We also had the opportunity to chat to Carly about ‘Love Me’, balancing her exciting projects, being out on the road and much more.
Congratulations on the release of your new single, ‘Love Me’. You’ve described it as the “first ‘positive’ love song” that you’ve ever written – can you tell us more about the inspiration behind it?
Thank you so much! Initially, my songwriting was an outlet for negative feelings and internal struggle as an angsty teenager; we all know that going through that phase is a bitch, to say the least, haha. I held onto music for dear life. I knew there was a deeper reason why I desperately adopted that identity. We all need a passion outlet to healthily focus, cope, and harness our energy. I would say my writing still naturally flows from pain and struggle, but now as an adult, I honor and accept the darkness of life more than ever, as well as the light. I have a very realistic and sometimes cynical view on life; this song is exactly that. Although it is written about love, it also openly admits that cynicism and struggle experienced in keeping a relationship fed and alive long term. No fluff or sugar coating. I’ve always taken love and relationships so seriously– ‘cause my gut has never had an interest in wasting love and energy on anyone who wasn’t going to be worth it and for the long term. This song is about my first and only serious relationship of almost 7 years. We both thought we would be loners, married to music…but somehow we met and fell in love against our will. This song was born from gratitude and sheer relief to have found one another.
What was the creative process like? How long did it take for the song to come together?
This song took about a year to fully fall into place. The first verse randomly fell out of the sky to me when I was on a long drive (I drive a lot, so most of my ideas come to me while I’m humming to myself on the road) but the rest of the song took a while to come out. I tried to force it, which of course never works for me. I’m not usually a writer who cranks them out. It takes me time to sit and marinate in my thoughts and feelings before I can have it all clearly and accurately translate to paper.
It all begins with a feeling….and for me, I have to learn what message that feeling is sending. Songwriting is a multifaceted therapeutic process for me; as I’m figuring out what I want to write and play, I’m figuring out who the hell I am, little by little. I’ve learned to accept and honor this process more. We are all different and should embrace and respect that as much as possible.
What’s your favourite lyric from ‘Love Me’?
I think my favorite line from this song is from the second verse: “Something this real has gotta last; It’s pulling on my heart and pushing out my past.” That line also fell out of the sky and felt so perfect to the feeling. The way a person can magnetically draw your soul in and bring you in the present moment, allowing you to forget pain from your past experiences, which is a true gift. It’s a healing lyric to me.
Can we expect a music video for the song?
I don’t have one currently planned, but if I win the lotto, YES! Haha. I’m a fully independent artist and the resources have not yet presented themselves for that yet, however, I do plan to be collaborating on such projects in the near future. If not for this song, it will be for another. Until then, I have a live video performance that can be streamed online.
Are you working on a solo EP/album? If so, what can we expect from it?
I am working toward that eventually, but first I am going to be focusing on releasing my two other projects that will be dropping this fall. At the very least, I will follow this single with another as soon as I can. I do plan to be recording an EP as well, when the time and resources present themselves. I’ve been writing new material and am so excited to get started on that vision.
You’ve previously named the likes of Grace Potter, Jimi Hendrix and Black Crowes as some of your music inspirations. What is it about these artists that inspires you?
These artists hit me right in the gut. They ooze genuine soul through their voices and instruments. They write songs that translate. They’re heavily blues influenced and I have always had a deep connection and influence to the blues (again, the pain and struggle haha.) They scratch that itch and validate feelings…and um, they also WAIL SO HARD. How can you not get into that? Rock n’ roll is medicine to me. It’s visceral and raw.
You’ve got a string of live gigs coming up. What’s your favourite thing about being out on the road?
I like the hour or so that I have on stage, the rest is a pain to be honest, haha. Besides the stage, my favorite aspects would have to be connecting and releasing emotion with others. It’s the best feeling there is.
It seems that music has pretty much been a lifelong passion of yours. Did you have any other career aspirations growing up?
Music has definitely been the pinnacle. I have always been a yoga and nutrition fanatic, though. There was a time I thought about going to nutrition school, and one day I would love to be a certified yoga teacher and therapist.
You’re based in Atlanta – what kind of impact has the city had on you musically and as a person?
I moved to Atlanta from Southern Idaho when I was 6 years old for my father’s music career. It was a crazy culture shock which, little did I know, would be one the best changes to happen for my life. I thought I would move back out West after high school, but the Atlanta music scene won my heart and made me fall in love with this city and region. It’s the biggest small town there is. As spread out as this city is, everyone knows everyone. It’s one of the most supportive music and artistic scenes. It’s a big embracing family. There is an immense amount of history and culture here. I love the funky-soul-southern-fried-jungle vibes it emanates. Atlanta is colorful, vibrant, and diverse. It has made me tougher, more agile and dynamic.
You’re never too far away from your guitar and have been playing for years now. What drew you to the guitar in the first place?
My dad was a professional guitarist, and several other family members also played. I’ll never forget the summer I turned 12. My dad, big brother, uncle, cousin, and I spent the summer together out West. Out of all of them, I was the only one who didn’t know who to play the guitar. They would sit around the campfire and play and together, which made me feel painfully left out. It looked like so much fun. I insisted they teach me a few chords. My cousin Shilo showed me “Good Riddance” by Green Day, my dad showed me Stevie Nicks’s “Landslide,” and my brother (also a drummer) showed me Black Crowes “Hard to Handle” on drums. I was obsessed with having the capability and identity of a musician. I then became drawn to Angus Young, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, John Mayer, and more blues and rock guitarists. My list of influences and genres kept and keep growing. I love how versatile and expressive the instrument is. I’m attached at the hip to my guitar, quite literally.
Aside from your solo career, you’re also a member of two bands, Gibson Wilbanks and The Pussywillows. How do you find the time to balance all three projects?
Yes, I am! That’s a great question, haha. I get asked this frequently. Both of these other projects are a duo at the core. The universe brought each group together and each group has a special balance and love. Both duet partners are my best friends. Gibson Wilbanks is with my boyfriend BJ Wilbanks, and The Pussywillows is with my bff Hannah Zale. Each group’s dynamic is very different.
They each have a balanced and healthy outlet for me. GW allows me to connect and grow with my boyfriend and find a common organic ground in our romantic relationship and our core values as beings. TPW allows me to connect, commiserate, and let off female steam alongside another young woman, who is my best friend and soul sister. They are both so dear to me as my people, not just bandmates. I get to release different and essential emotions with both. Each project is important to me; I CHOOSE to make the time for that sole reason. If you want anything bad enough, if it serves you, you will figure it out. It is a dance and juggle; there is always a ball or two in the air. There has to be lots of communication and unconditional love, respect, support, and understanding.
All three projects allow you to express your creativity in various ways. How would you say that elements such as songwriting differ between your solo and group projects?
I love this question! The songwriting in each project is definitely indicative of the dynamic of each relationship. With GW, it is a lot more particular, being that we are in a romantic relationship. We have to balance a lot more together. It is a beautiful challenge though. We get to turn our ups and downs into art and learn more about ourselves as a couple and as people. We mainly write about our relationship and our core values. There is no pattern in our songwriting, except that we eventually get there. Our sound leans toward Motown, Americana, roots, and old school country; it’s very organic.
TPW is a whole different thing. Hannah and I are both very similar and polar opposites at the same time. Hannah is the type A and I’m the type B, though we are somehow 90% always on the same page. I play and direct the music and she is the business coordinator. We both interweave in and out of lead and harmony. We have a true balance in our friend and band relationship. I usually write all the music and she takes the lead on the lyric ideas, though we write them together. Most of our content is alt/rock based, centered around angst and anger, while still retaining a delicate element of acceptance and forgiveness.
My solo project has a mind of its own. Like I said before, most of my songwriting comes from internal struggle. I usually come up with a guitar part first. The color of the chords bring out the emotion.
What are your current plans with Gibson Wilbanks and The Pussywillows?
Gibson Wilbanks is about to release our first full length album in late August, and The Pussywillows will be releasing our first EP in late October. Both bands will be scheduling tours to follow. WE ARE ALL SO EXCITED.
’Love Me’ is out on Friday, April 20.
Let us know your thoughts on Carly Gibson’s new single ‘Love Me’ on Twitter @CelebMix