Nadine Carina has been quietly weaving an intricate tapestry of spellbinding music in her adopted home town of Liverpool for several years. The Swiss-born songwriter specialises in textured found sounds and mesmerising folk noise. She tells Getintothis’ Tom Dani, ‘I like to write about things I don’t understand’.
Creativity and expression are two concepts that seamlessly underpin Nadine Carina.
Having released a series of bedroom produced albums and mix tapes she presents a sound that blends a quirky folk style and a fixation with experimental noise.
The half Italian, half Croatian, Swiss-born singer songwriter packed up her belongings and moved to Liverpool in 2011, in search of new inspiration and a music scene more in tune with her influences.
‘I’m from the Italian part of Switzerland, it’s really small and not many people know about it. There are some metal bands; almost no folk,‘ she tells Getintothis.
‘As you move towards the French and German parts there’s some more, but it’s all weird Swiss-German folk.‘
A difficult task for a young musician, to up sticks from the comfort of your native homeland and settle in a city like Liverpool; fiercely strident in its belief as a music hotbed. Yet, Nadine has always been one to act on passion, of which writing music is everything.
‘Moving (to Liverpool) inspired me in every way,’ she adds. ‘The feeling of home, my friends and family is more familiar and warm, but when I’m here I’m all by myself to do things and it’s more of a challenge. I’m free.‘
‘I’ve always been attracted to writing, the fact that I can be creative and do whatever I want. I can choose the sounds that like and sing the songs that I like.‘
This approach is something that is fully evident in her young, yet extensive back catalogue. Magic Box, from 2011, displayed the singer’s love of intimate folk music, blending together delicate acoustic guitar, retro backing vocals and warm, heartfelt songwriting.
Reflecting on her early work she says: ‘I’ve always been inspired by a lot of sixties folk music, like Joni Mitchell intimate stuff, just guitar and vocals.
‘Then I started listening to a wave of Finnish musicians – they do a lot of freaky machine music and they love to experiment. I started listening to this noise music and it really inspired me. ‘
This new found fascination would lead to the creation of her follow up EP Little Things, which saw Carina move into the previously uncharted territory of drum machines, effects loops and layered soundscapes, having been mesmerized by the experimental sounds of her European peers.
The further you delve into the mindset of Nadine, the more you see a girl simply fascinated with discovery and creativity. As she speaks of her inspirations her face lights up time and time again, eager to hear everything, experience everything and grow from it as an artist.
‘I write about personal experiences, often love, she adds. ‘I like to write about things I don’t understand and I have to think about, I guess hoping that I might understand them that way.‘
Live, Nadine takes to the stage alone, dragging with her a suitcase of various musical trinkets that she’s collected through time. Channeling these through various loop machines and a laptop she builds layer upon layer, an intricate tapestry of experimental noise and melody.
Talking about her engaging live performances, she says: ‘The whole noise genre really inspired my live set, by looping sounds it’s always new and interesting, it was a whole new way for me to compose and it was really exciting.
‘I just like old instruments; they’re like my toys. My Casio for example, I bought it on eBay. I like to find old stuff that people don’t want anymore, so I can take it.
‘Like the one that angels play – the harp! I found one in a market and I just had to have it. It was only forty francs, it’s like twenty quid, that’s like nothing!‘
Adopting the turn of phrase of a Scouser, her live set has quickly turned heads and been adopted by her new home city, something that seems so surreal to the Swiss born singer, having instantly fallen in love with the Liverpool music scene.
She added: ‘I feel honoured. Since coming here I’ve been so inspired by the music in the city – it’s amazing to be included in the GIT Award!
‘When I came here I didn’t know many bands, but in my first week I’d already lined up about ten gigs to go to it was so exciting.‘
Fellow GIT Award nominees Stealing Sheep being one of the singers most exciting personal discoveries.
‘They were one of the first bands I saw in Liverpool. I saw their gig flyer on the street and though it looked so cute, so I went and I loved it. The harmonies are amazing and their sound is great. I’d never seen a band play like that before.‘
If one thing is simple to take from Nadine, it’s her entirely unrestricted sense of aspiration to create and better herself as a musician and as a songwriter
‘I want to be always creative, I hope not to lose it because of business or stuff like that. You get taught a lot of business whilst playing and it’s like another side of the brain
‘I hope to be able to keep on doing what I do now and just get better.
‘I’d love to keep collaborating with people and learning from others, I know it’s too much to ever ask but I’d love to collaborate with David Bowie, yeah that would be amazing.‘
Nadine Carina – a daydream believer, truly worth believing in.
Further Nadine Carina reading on Getintothis
Getintothis on Nadine Carina and EP Little Bits.
Nadine Carina reviewed live with Coffee and Cakes For Funerals, The Cold One Hundred, Highfields, Collectors Club at The Shipping Forecast.
Nadine Carina at Fiesta Obscenic 2011.
Further GIT Award 2013 reading
GIT AWARD 2013 shortlist revealed ahead of April 19 Leaf showcase
The GIT Award 2013 the nominees: the shortlisted artists in detail
GIT Award 2013 at Leaf on Bold Street Friday April 19 with £1000 to winners.
For a full list of the GIT Award 2013 judges and their profiles read here.
The GIT Award 2013 returns championing the best of Merseyside music.