Review Fix: What was your invitation to music like?
Darling Cora: I have been drawn and called to music in more ways than once, but the first time I realized I could sing was when I was nine and fully prepared to have my music class laugh at some tune we all had to sing individually. To my surprise, when it was my turn, they all actually applauded. That was totally unexpected, as I had been bullied a bit by others because of how squeaky and annoying the tone of my speaking voice sounded! Funny how that works; I still think I sound kind of odd when I am speaking.
Review Fix: How would you describe your sound?
Cora: My sound is an alternative-indie folk rock that runs the gamut of emotional expression, best embodied in how I sing. I take pride in my ability to emote and express with a good deal of depth and range – I try to sing with as much intensity, commitment, and authenticity as I can. I am rather obsessed with sounding and being authentic to who I am and the emotional meaning and intent the song, almost like “method acting” but more personal and exposed. That takes precedence over always sounding “pretty and perfect”, especially in a live setting. That, and I tend to be attracted to guitar sounds with a lot of reverb, at least right now.
Review Fix: What’s your creative process like?
Cora: For better or worse, I have an artistic temperament, and I take full advantage of it. I usually write songs based on musical ideas that I come up with on one of my more intellectual and technically-minded days, combined with the spark of a story and feeling, when the inspiration strikes. I rarely come up with the entire song all at once. It usually requires a good deal of writing and rewriting over time, and through performance.
Review Fix: Who influences you musically?
Cora: I think one’s musical influences are shaped by all the music, sounds, and teachers that they are exposed to throughout their lives, the good, the bad, and the unsought. However, in terms of the music that I look up to and have idealized, it would have to include Jeff Buckley, Martha Wainwright, and Radiohead. I used to be really into the electric guitar playing of Jimi Hendrix and Jimi Page before that. Lately, I have been really getting into the acoustic guitar textures and playing styles of early Bruce Cockburn and Bert Jansch, and that of my guitar teacher Maneli Jamal.
Review Fix: What are your goals for the rest of the year?
Cora: After my first tour of the east coast of Canada at the tail end of this summer, I will start to prioritize playing with a band more and more. I have played solo for the majority of my career thus far mainly out of necessity, but the time has come to take performing with other musicians more seriously. In the near future, I hope to be playing with others least as often as I perform solo.
Review Fix: What’s your standout song? How was it written?
Cora: “Yearn” is my most accessible song on my debut record; it would stand out amongst the most people for its simplicity and heartfelt appeal to true love, or at least an honest belief in it. It was written on a waves of a manic love high, somewhat based in reality. That fantasy has since broken, but it was one hell of a ride while it lasted. I will leave the specifics to your imaginations.
Review Fix: Bottom line, why should someone listen to your work?
Cora: I believe my songs and music are unlike anyone else’s – they are uniquely my own voice and musical concoction, and I would hope that that uniqueness is a breath of fresh air in a field where the majority tends to sing, write, look, and sound the exact same way. I am different more in ways than one, and I have come to embrace fully that. That, and I am all about emotional honesty and range – that is what I strive for, and what I will continue to strive for, in my work. I am technically new to the scene, but I am only getting started. Come follow me along my musical journey, it should be quite interesting.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Cora: Just as much growth as an artist and musician as I can handle – writing and exploring new sounds, territories, and stories, both in my music and in the process of getting it out there. Looking to become more of a regular presence in the Canadian music scene, and to become export ready over the next few years.
Patrick Hickey Jr.
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