Singer Tracy Lorin invested emotions from a real-life tragedy into the Gothic-tinged duo Carmella
By Michael Aushenker
Tracy Lorin’s sister Jaime was only 32 when she died of a pulmonary embolism. Despite Jaime’s history of drug use, she had been clean for a year when it struck.
“I was already in another project [called Moon Child]. I had started writing new material and when it happened I needed to shift into this new project,” Lorin said.
That new endeavor became Carmella, which the singer-songwriter describes as “electro luxe cemetery pop.” A big fan of Kate Bush, Fiona Apple, Bjork, Sigur Ros and Bat for Lashes, Lorin lets her falsetto float on top of an ethereal, electro-pop ocean of ambient sound and muted beats. Think Enya without the ennui.
To form Carmella, she got together with her former Moon Child bandmate RickEy Lumpkin II, a bassist who co-writes and produces her songs.
A Philadelphia native who has lived in Santa Monica for six years, Lorin gives Lumpkin credit for structuring her material.
“It feels totally magical for me,” she said of their process. “I come in with pieces — lyrics, sparse chords.
He takes it and blows it up for me. He helps me create the sound. RickEy is this person who is inside my head almost.”
Lumpkin said the pair had talked about doing music before Lorin’s sister died and didn’t get far, but songs came bleeding out of Lorin’s heart after the tragedy, many of them connected to losing her sister.
“They have different moods to them,” Lumpkin said. “It translates well live. A lot of the emotions behind the songs are meant to get out there.”
On May 24, Carmella will throw a record release party for their first and as yet untitled EP at Hotel Café in Hollywood.
But for now, they’re focused on cathartic live gigs, including a March 20 show at Witzend in Venice.
“It’s really good to get the stuff out,” Lumpkin said.
Carmella performs at 10 p.m. on March 20 at Witzend, 1717 Lincoln Blvd., Venice. Doors open at 7 p.m. for an all-ages bill that also includes The Listening Room, Rob Roth and Tamara Laurel. $10, plus one item minimum purchase. Call (310) 305-4790 or visit witzendlive.com.