Cara Louise’s ‘Fragile Heart’ Takes the St. Louis Singer into Indie-Alternative Territory

 In Culture, Feature

When growing up in St. Louis, Cara Louise used to put on living room performances for her family. Now the singer and guitar player performs in theaters across the Midwest as a four-part ensemble with her husband, Adam Donald, on the steel and electric guitar; Simon Chervitz on bass guitar; and Scotti Iman on drums.

After Louise and Donald took some time off to get married this year, they reached out to local producer David Beeman at Native Sound Recording on Cherokee Street for a new 5-song EP. On “Fragile Heart,” fans will hear an evolution in Louise’s sound. Her current style moves away from the tasteful twang of past works and introduces synthesizers, drum triggers, layering and ethereal vocal effects, leading Louise into the indie-alternative genre and away from a more traditional roots sound.

Cara Louise's 'Fragile Heart' Takes the St. Louis Singer into Indie-Alternative Territory

Image courtesy of Tim Gebauer.

In 2017, Louise released “Fire’s Out,” a mellow 10-song record where her strong but dreamy voice and tone was reminiscent of artists such as Liz Cooper, Faye Webster and Caroline Rose.

Louise began performing in St. Louis’ underground music scene with open mic nights on Cherokee Street and South Grand, and has great admiration for fellow performers such as Tonina, LéPonds, Golden Curls, Jenny Roques and Beth Bombara.

Though she appreciates classic indie bands and keeps up with contemporary artists, Louise says much of her musical inspiration comes from “the greats like Neil Young, Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen.” A true blend of old and new, Louise collects records in her Grandma’s old record cabinet, but also uses Spotify to discover new music.

Cara Louise's 'Fragile Heart' Takes the St. Louis Singer into Indie-Alternative Territory

Image courtesy of Tim Gebauer.

Always dressed in a colorful or patterned dress inspired by the ’60s and ’70s, Louise seeks a constant creative influence from the fashion, decoration and music from the cultural movement at that time. The music videos for her new EP follow that source of inspiration, such as “Tears Turn Into Rain,” which depicts a trio of women dancing with movements inspired by the Supremes and the Shirelles in breezy dresses (outfitted by local boutique May’s Place) on the desert in Salt Lake City. In the video for “Fragile Heart,” Louise wanted to “bring together a bunch of girls having fun, because there’s not enough of that in the St. Louis music scene right now.” 

Cara Louise's 'Fragile Heart' Takes the St. Louis Singer into Indie-Alternative Territory

Image courtesy of Adam Taylor.

Louise spent the summer opening for artists Margo Price, Nikki Lane and Hayes Carll, but she’s embarking on her own Midwestern tour this fall to cities like Nashville, Louisville, Lexington and Tulsa. Louise and her band will perform a celebratory album release event at Off Broadway on Oct. 25. Follow @lara_couise on Instagram or like @caralouiseband on Facebook for more information and future live performances.

Featured image courtesy of Kristen McGeehan.

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