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Dancing into the darkness

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TO louise carver

It’s the darkest and most controversial song she has written, but Louise Carver was adamant about releasing How You Gonna Do It? as a single.

“This is dark,” says the beautiful, slightly built musician.

“This is about my murder. This is Nick Cave and Massive Attack on a bad day.”

The single, along with the accompanying video, is a fore-runner to her next album which is set for release late in July.

How You Gonna Do It? sees Carver move away from her pop/rock sound into the dance genre. However, the perceived happy beats of dance belie the dark undertow of the lyrics and their sentiments. On the track she is the prey and asks the hunter how he is preparing to kill her. Will it be with a silk stocking around her neck? A gunshot to the head? Perhaps an injection? Or will he run her over when her head is turned? And all this because she refuses to remain his girlfriend or become his wife.

“I was stalked by someone for six years,” says Carver. “I know many women have gone through the same thing. They can relate. It is horrifying to know how many men will kill their ex-girlfriends because they can’t have them.

“One night I was watching the crime channel and it all became too much. I switched off the television and went to my piano. It was 10pm. By 2am I had the song. I don’t even recall writing it. I just spat out my subconscious.”

That the subject matter is so contentious that certain radio stations refuse to play the song does not bother Carver.

“Just read the newspapers for what is happening to women. There is so much crime. I am an artist and I will express myself. I will do a dark song if I feel the need.”

The video for How You Gonna Do It? brilliantly reflects the song’s mood. It was shot in Shine Studios which overlooks Jozi’s suburb of Braamfontein and was directed by award-winning director Morgan Dingle.

In the video Carver’s captor has placed her naked in a large box and fantasises about how he is going to kill her. The images are suggestive of violence, which makes more of an impact on the viewer, and those of her dead body make it that much more intense.

In fact, outside of The Parlotones’ videos, How You Gonna Do It? is one of the few songs that has such a strong and valuable synchronisation between the lyrics and the video. Indeed, the more one watches the video the more the intense the song and video become.

“I was naked in the video because Morgan wanted to make me look more vulnerable. While shooting the video I didn’t feel vulnerable in front of the crew. I felt comfortable in my body.

“Normally in a shoot for, say, FHM, I can feel vulnerable, but here we were making art. I was a piece of that art, a piece of the puzzle. Plus, it was my video.”

The track is definitely a different artistic path for Carver: “With my new album I didn’t want to do a rock album. It is too restricting. I bought the Faithless and Massive Attack albums because I wanted an electronic sound that wasn’t too hard. But also, it is a sound which I can perform live.

“Faithless, even though they are dance band, sometimes play with a 20-piece band.

“I want to keep my live band, but I also want to grow. I can’t go backwards and I want new sounds. I also want to step away from my piano which is my safety net.

“My emphasis is on creating music that people feel, which in turn gives me authenticity when I play live. I want to be continually innovative and keep being relevant.

“I follow my heart and what interests me, but the songs must also be strong and reflective of what we all go through.”

• How You Gonna Do It? is available for download on various websites and the video can be viewed on YouTube.

How You Gonna Do It? Tour Dates

Friday: Café Vacca Matta, Suncoast, Durban, 11pm. Contact: Lisa at 078 290 0953.

June 16: Tanz Café, Fourways, Joburg 8.30pm. Contact: Grant at 011 658 0277.

June 23: Casalinga, Honeydew, Joburg, 3pm and 8pm. Contact: Lloyd at 087 941 1228.

June 28: Marimba’s, Foreshore, Cape Town, 8.30pm. Contact: to be confirmed.

June 29: Dorpstraat, Stellenbosch, Cape Town, 8.30pm (doors open at 6pm, guests to have dinner at the venue). Contact: Michelle at 021 889 9158.

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