Three Music Thingz with Ciemme

Three Music Thingz with Ciemme

My my my, it's another rendition of Three Music Thingz, the blogseries where I ask musicians for three thingz that are essential to their music-making.

Today we have Ciemme! Aka Charlotte Mulvey, a singer/songwriter in Minneapolis. I last chatted with her for my old newsletter The Molly Zone, where we talked about AI music, the inherent sadness of all Christmas songs, and leaving raw songs in the oven to fully cook.

Finest Error, by Ciemme
5 track album

Now she has a new EP freshly out called Finest Error: five tracks of frizzled rock 'n' roll with whiffs of David Bowie-style flair and Patti Smith-style poetic intensity. Sorry I'm about to do one of those music writing similes that people may or may not like, and I wanted to warn you first...there's a song on Finest Error called "Beatles Tattoo" and that's kind of how this EP feels—rock that's rooted in a folkish '60s tradition, but with bold, bleeding edges, the vibe as personal and insistent as a needle digging into yr own flesh.

Okay did we all survive that? Great.

My favorite song is "The Fighter," a distortion-heavy ripper that pits Ciemme against the world, as she cuts a path of heedless assurance, tears up four-leaf clovers (she doesn't need the luck), and warns us near the end, "Avert your eyes before the fireworks start/ I am not for the faint of heart." A real running-through-walls type of song.

Charlotte was kind enough to send her three thingz to the blog, and if you keep your eyes on the page, you'll then read them...

  1. the Aeneid
    i’m a nerd in general, but i’m a HUGE nerd about latin. i studied latin all four years of high school, plus a semester in college (i dropped out because i couldn’t continue studying latin) and it kind of unlocked my brain in regards to writing. senior year we translated the Aeneid, the epic poem by Virgil about the fall of Troy and the quest that led the Trojans to found Rome. i fell in love with it and the ways it could be interpreted and transcribed; essentially i found that i was writing the poem as i read it, which fascinated me. since then i’ve sort of approached songwriting in this way, where my thoughts and feelings are in a foreign language and i’m just trying to translate them as elegantly as possible.
  2. Being Wrong
    it is very very important to understand that you will be wrong about lots of stuff. you will misunderstand things, you will make bad decisions, you will trust in people and things that lead you astray. this is, if you can believe it, a good and beautiful thing. sometimes i hear a lyric in a song and think “oh that’s such a good line, i wish i wrote that!” and then it turns out i misheard the line, and i did in fact write the line that i thought was so compelling. it’s like climbing through a window because you didn’t notice the door. congratulations, you have Found Another Way.
  3. Love (in the most hippie sense of the word, even)
    i don’t write love songs. for a person i’m in love with, it feels strange and maybe a bit insincere to represent those feelings through a process so full of second guesses, to preen and pluck the most intimate and natural feeling into something that will belong to everyone. nonetheless, love is the most important thing. it’s infinite! it’s the one thing you take with you when you die! to give it away is to multiply it! it’s so cool to have love and to be in love and to feel loved. i have so many people in my life whom i love and who love me, and i couldn’t do any of this without them (this is where i shout out my girlfriend Vi Viana, because she shouted me out in her edition of this column so fair’s fair). i don’t write love songs, but i don’t think i could write a song that doesn’t share in the love of everything around me.

Thank you Ciemme! Listen to Finest Error, check out her link aggregation. A final message from Ciemme: "listen to my EP, go to my shows (i’ll be in the western US this summer!), and be my friend. i want to be your friend!" Thanks for reading I Enjoy Music. If you like it, tell a friend about it.